$10M donation allows free tuition to music majors at LA City College

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A $10.1 million donation from Herb Alpert's foundation will allow music majors to attend college for free at Los Angeles City College. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

World-renowned trumpeter Herb Alpert's foundation donated $10.1 million to music education at Los Angeles City College, allowing all music majors to have free tuition.

The donation allows not just free tuition to music majors, but also additional private lessons and further financial aid.

"Music students could experience their career potential and not be laden with debt when they came out and do it completely cost free, and that's how we came up with this number. It's a big number, but it's forever, hopefully it's forever," Rona Sebastian, the president of the Herb Alpert Foundation said.

Alpert's contribution was the largest gift to a community college in Southern California and the second largest in the state, school officials said during an announcement Thursday morning.

With the additional funds, LACC will also be able to increase the number of music majors from 175 to 250.

"Number one problem we have with our student is nothing we can control. It's social problems, they don't have the means to come here, they have to work full time, which impacts their studies so any donation we have, especially aimed at scholarships, I mean it will literally change lives," Daniel Ruiz, an associate professor at LACC said.

Alpert, a Boyle Heights native, and his wife, singer Lani Hall, are regular contributors to music and art education.

The Grammy-Award winning trumpeter is perhaps best known for his work in the group Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass and his for solo hit "Rise."

The free tuition at LACC will begin in the fall of 2017.

The Associated Press and City News Service contributed to this report.
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