LOS ANGELES — Trumpeter Herb Alpert’s foundation, co-founded with his wife, singer Lani Hall, has announced a $10.1 million donation to Los Angeles City College that will provide all music majors at the school with a tuition-free education.
“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,” Alpert said.
In addition to free tuition, the donation will also provide music majors with additional private lessons and extended financial aid. The funding will apply to students whether they are in a two-year certificate program or pursuing a four-year music degree. It is also expected to enhance music offerings to non-music majors.
“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.”
The donation was the largest ever received by Los Angeles City College or any of the nine campuses within the Los Angeles Community College District.
About 4,000 students take some type of music courses at LACC.
“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.”
“This is a tremendous day for the hundreds of our deserving students who come to LACC every year and aspire to perform or record or continue with their studies and teach music,” said Scott Svonkin, president of the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees. “We all have Herb Alpert and Lani Hall Alpert to thank for making dreams come true for so many students today and well into the future.”
“The Alpert donation will ensure that LACC’s music students have the opportunity to reach their goals,” said Renee D. Martines, president of L.A. City College.
Alpert came to fame in the 1960s as the leader of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, a group that had several big hits on instrumental numbers, including “A Taste of Honey” and “The Lonely Bull.” “A Taste of Honey” won the Grammy Award for record of the year in 1966.
He also co-founded A&M Records with Jerry Moss.
The free tuition is expected to take effect beginning in fall 2017.
The Herb Alpert Foundation has supported the school in the past, providing gifts totaling more than $500,000.