Pacific Crest Youth Arts Organization
2022 Outstanding Volunteer Honoree - Community Organization Division
Pacific Crest Youth Arts Organization is dedicated to providing local youths with an opportunity to participate in marching band competitions throughout the country. The Drum and Bugle Corps is Pacific Crest’s top program, but the organization also offers private lessons, camps and an outreach program.
Founded in 1993 with the intention of providing marching advanced band opportunities to students, Pacific Crest went from starting with an initial 33 performers to operating with 150. Now, the organization hosts seasonal performances that allow students to travel throughout the nation and perform in front of thousands.
Pacific Crest’s summer season tour includes dozens of performances, beginning in California at locations like the Rose Bowl Stadium and Stanford University, then moving out of the state and all over the country. Students must audition for the Drum and Bugle Corps, but Pacific Crest offers other programs as well that are more accessible.
The organization offers virtual private music lessons, leadership camps and an outreach program that provides discounted and/or free tickets to performances for underserved students.
To celebrate Pacific Crest’s 30th anniversary next year, a performance and auction event will be held at the Diamond Bar Center on June 4, 2023.
CEO Stuart Pompel lists the organization’s reach as one of its biggest achievements: Pacific Crest has served over 2,000 students since its creation. Pompel said that the organization’s impact, which goes beyond those 2,000 students, is why Pacific Crest is so important in the community.
“In less affluent communities, they don’t have those kind of resources [to fundraise for band programs] so when we can offer private music lessons to [underserved] kids… we know that that’s having an impact,” Stuart said.
“We’re taking a kid and we’re literally changing the way they can play an instrument, they bring that back to their school. Those kids get excited, the band director gets excited, we’re impacting so many different communities through our work.”
For those interested in getting involved with Pacific Crest, Pompel encourages interested community members to volunteer for any of the various positions within Pacific Crest. More information can be found at www.pacific-crest.org.