Music Matters

News and Events


Ongoing:  Cans for Kids!  Drop off your aluminum cans no plastic bags allowedin the Willmar Music Matters Trailer located at the Willmar Middle School Parking Lot by the tennis courts.

Cans for Kids at Cullens.

Music Matters is a community group that supports quality music education and experience for youth in Willmar Public Schools.

Make a donationVolunteer

What We Do:

  • Advocate for sustainable, consistent and adequate public funding of music and arts education at the local, state and national levels
  • Increase public awareness of Willmar Public Schools K-12 music program
  • Provide supplemental funding to assure continuous high quality music education is available to all students of Willmar Public Schools


  • Our Willmar School District has faced many extremely difficult financial decisions and some of those have significantly affected our music program.
  • Cuts to the music program began during the 2008-2009 school year. Lesson times have been reduced, the 5th grade band program was cut and the 4th and 5th grade orchestra program was cut from the school budget. (School district funding for 4th and 5th grade orchestra program was restored for the 2013-2014 school year.)
  • There is currently no 5th grade band program. 
  • Advocating for more music instruction in the Willmar Middle School.
  • Funding needed for additional band and orchestra instruments
  • Assist in providing music enrichment activities
  • Supporting student participation/diversity in music programming

Music Matters is raising funds to reinstate music programs:

  • Music matters gave a grant to Willmar Schools in 2008-2009 in the amount of $18,500 to reinstate AP music theory in the high school and maintain the level of music lessons at all levels.
  • Music matters awarded a grant to Willmar Schools in 2010-2011 in the amount of $28,500 to reinstate the 4th and 5th grade orchestra which had been cut from the school budget.
  • Music matters is awarding another grant for the 2011-2012 school year to again fund the 4th and 5th grade orchestra program in the amount of $28,500.  Music matters awarded a grant for the 2011-2012 school year to fund the 4th and 5th grade orchestra program in the amount of $28,500.
  • Music matters awarded a grant for the 2016-2017 school year to fund .5 FTE for 4th grade orchestra program in the amount of $15,000.

How Can You Help?

  • Please consider making a donation to help provide supplemental funding to assure high quality music education in the Willmar Public Schools.
  • Click on MAKE A DONATION for instructions to make your contribution..
  • The Music Matters fund is managed through the Willmar Area Community Foundation (WACF) and grant requests will be made directly to the Willmar Public School District for music program funding. All donations are tax deductible and donors will be provided with a receipt from Willmar Area Community Foundation (WACF).
  • Support Willmar Public Schools levy referendums
  • Contact our legislators and governor.
  • Representative Dave Baker
  • Senator Andrew Lang
  • Governor Tim Walz 

Thanks for supporting Willmar Public Schools!

Kudos to Our Fund-raising Partners

Willmar Music Matters has partnered with individuals and businesses. A special thanks to:

  • Walt’s Car Wash for offering a free carwash with donations and pledges going to Music Matters. A total of $20,500 was raised at this event. 954 cars were washed!
  • Mills Ford for their partnership with the Music Department on their Test Drive event. For the past few years Music Matters has raised money through the sale of concessions at this event. Kudos to all who took a test drive and made this event a success.
  • Andrew Wilkowske for donating his talent and time providing the community with his outstanding concert
  • Cans for Kids project:
  • Richard Falk for the idea and keeping the ideas flowing. 
  • Gregg Hanson, Hanson Silo Co, for getting the trailer made and donating it.
  • Jeff Bleess at Tire’s Plus for donating new wheels for the trailer.   
  • Rick Dahle for allowing us to park it at his location
  • Sara Bos for sign design
  • Pat’s Graphics for making and mounting the signs
  • Cyrilla Beach Homes for donating the steps to Cans for Kids
  • The project was organized by the Willmar Music Matters group.



web design and maintenance by Dennis Benson