Underserved Kids Make Music Thanks to OC Alumnus

Scott Filleman, a 2005 OC graduate, is doing a tremendous work in his role as band director at Santa Fe South Schools in Oklahoma City.

He took a band that began with no budget and just a few working instruments in 2007 and built it into a program with more than 300 student musicians from fourth through 12th grade.

That would be a success story anywhere. But almost all of Santa Fe South’s students come from impoverished families that qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. They don’t have much. But they have the opportunity to make music, thanks to Scott and a caring community.

“I couldn’t ask for a better administration. They’ve found a solution for everything we’ve wanted and needed. Although this school may be poor financially, it’s rich in the way it invests in students and shows compassion,” Scott said. “The kids love what they do and that keeps me going. It feels good to hear them say things like, ‘Your class is why I came to school today.’”

Some of those students don’t have instruments to play right now. The band’s biggest needs are lower woodwinds (instruments like bassoons and tenor/baritone saxophones) and lower brass instruments (trombones, baritones, tubas). They also need financial assistance for repairs because many of the donated instruments need to be fixed before they can be used. If you’d like to help, contact Scott at sfilleman@santafesouth. org or call the school at (405) 631-6100.

Fall 2012

View more stories from the Fall 2012 issue of Vision magazine.