Herb Alpert Foundation’s $10.1 Million Gift to Los Angeles City College Provides All Music Majors With Free Education

Herb Alpert and Lani Hall
Herb Alpert and Lani Hall

Just when it seems all hope is lost for humanity and the future of music, something like this happens, and we are reminded there are a whole lot of angels among us.

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Herb Alpert & Lani Hall, through their foundation, have granted a $10.1 million gift to the L.A. City College system to provide all music majors with a free education.

Every music major will receive full tuition, and other expenses, to fulfill a full music degree. When music education in schools and colleges is in peril, and when college tuition costs are through the roof, Herb and Lani have provided a gift which will impact the lives of untold musicians for decades to come. So often in America, when the arts are championed, they are championed by other artists.

A musician who graduates with a music degree and an enormous debt is in a perilous position. Whether they teach music or get work writing or performing, it is a gradual and challenging ordeal to launch a career, requiring a huge investment of time and effort. Freed from all those financial constraints, each of these students will have an unchained head-start, one which will profoundly impact the arc of their careers.

Here are the facts:

The Los Angeles City College Foundation has received a $10.1 million gift from The Herb Alpert Foundation, creating an endowment that forever transforms the music department and the lives of the talented music students who study at Los Angeles City College .

The gift is the largest ever given to a community college in Southern California.

The gift provides all music majors at LACC tuition-free attendance, additional private lessons and further financial aid to enable them to succeed in their community college experience. This support extends to all music majors, whether enrolled in the two-year certificate programs or in the applied music major program that prepares students for pursuing a 4-year music degree. It allows for significant student growth over the coming years and builds on the Foundation’s long-standing financial support to LACC which has exceeded $500,000.

“I love that LACC has helped so many low income students who have financial challenges but have a strong commitment to education and to self-improvement,” said Herb Alpert.

“The Herb Alpert Foundation’s two core areas of funding are the Arts, and Compassion and Well-Being, and this gift to LACC beautifully marries those two priorities,” said Rona Sebastian, President of the Herb Alpert Foundation. “It supports those music students dedicated to pursuing advancement in this artistic discipline, and it provides an often underserved, diverse student population with a fair, just and compassionate opportunity to afford the costs of a higher education.”

“The vast majority of our students are from underserved communities and faced with enormous financial challenges as they strive to attain their academic and career goals,” said Robert Schwartz, executive director of the Los Angeles City College Foundation. “This generous gift from the Herb Alpert Foundation allows these talented students to focus on their studies while pursuing their individual pathways towards successful careers in the music industry.”

LACC, one of the nine community colleges within the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD), provides the largest selection of performing arts classes and majors among the LACCD campuses. Forty percent of the music students within the district study at LACC. In 1946, LACC became the first college in the U.S. to offer a major in jazz.

The Herb Alpert Foundation, a non-profit, private foundation established in the 1980’s, makes significant annual contributions to a range of programs in the Arts and in Compassion and Well-Being. Its funding is directed toward projects in which Herb and Lani Alpert and Foundation President Rona Sebastian play an active role.

The foundation has given $150 million in grants for music and music education since its founding.

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