ARS Musica dba Red Note Youth Orchestra

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The Red Note Youth Orchestra (ARS Musica) originally formed as the Stonelake Youth Symphony. In the past decade, several small attempts at youth orchestra programs in Elk Grove, CA have faltered and failed, but there was still a distinct community need. Founder Frederick Umar, a seasoned coach, conductor, and composer, formed the founding group. He quickly expanded the team with retired music educators, teachers completing their training and credentials, and other community advocates.

The mission was to enrich both the students and the community through professional quality classical music. The program has always focused on incivility, diversity, and service. The program was renamed to make it clear that we were serving a wider community (Stonelake was associated with a particular school and neighborhood), and while a class for new beginners existed from the programs inception, it expanded greatly in 2017 with the formation of classes on local campuses. Currently the orchestra includes beginning and intermediate students from around the area and the Roy Herburger Elementary school program teaches first, second and third year violin students twice weekly.


Cultivate musical excellence and a spirit of cooperation in young musicians. Be committed to the principles of comprehensive inclusiveness, that being, no child is denied access to a musical education that includes performance.


One of the key ways we want to build a sustainable musical community is for our students is offering free or low cost instruction of string instruments (focused currently on violin) on campus at local elementary schools. By keeping family costs low and being in accessible locations we give the maximum number of students the opportunity to participate. Therefore funding to pay our teaching and coaching staff requires funding to cover the additional costs not billed to families.

INSTRUMENTS: A second barrier for many students is the availability of affordable instruments. Our program owns a small number of violins that we rent to students at reduced rates based on their financial needs, and in order to launch programs at additional locations we need to purchase more instruments to make available to the students. Offering instruments through our program and not a third party has proven to be far more efficient and helpful to the families we serve.

MARKETING AND DEVELOPMENT FUNDS: Elk Grove and the surrounding areas, including local schools, have very limited history of providing string or orchestra ensembles. Therefore, marketing (community events, live presentations, social media, multimedia, print materials, etc.) is an important tool to continue reaching out to new musicians and growing a diverse community of music students.

We are looking for board members with a passion for growing well-rounded students in our community. Board members may be more hands-on with the group by helping in volunteer roles, or may use some of their connections within education and the arts to help us build partnerships and allow the programs to grow more quickly.

Volunteer roles can include string (violin and cello) coaches and instructors, as well as help with communications, marketing, media and social media, etc.. We appreciate team members that want to work hands on with young people.

Many of our efforts also benefit from in-kind donations. Two areas in particular are marketing and concerts/events. Marketing in-kind donations includes cross-promotion with local website and media figures, volunteer professional musicians for presentation, and other project leadership. Concerts and events are a way for us to celebrate and recognize students and their hard work, so in-kind donations can include food and refreshments, volunteers for roles such as sound engineers, use of rehearsal and performance space, and more.

Organization Data


Organization name

ARS Musica dba Red Note Youth Orchestra

Tax id (EIN)


Mission Category


Operating Budget


Organization Need

Funding: Program, Funding: Other, Board Members, Volunteers, In-Kind Donations

Demographics Served

Youth & Children


10481 Grantline Rd. Suite 100
Elk Grove, CA 95759

Service areas

Elk Grove, CA, US

Galt, CA, US

Sacramento, CA, US