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François Kloc, President & CEO of Buffet Crampon USA Advocates for Music Education in Washington, D.C.

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Last month, local area business leader François Kloc of Buffet Crampon USA joined nearly 100 music industry leaders, notable artists and arts education activists to advocate for all school-aged children to have access to quality, comprehensive school music education programs. As part of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Advocacy Fly-In, held May 22-24, the delegation met with Members of Congress and other policy stakeholders to reinforce the importance of music as part of a well-rounded education. The issue of music education takes on a special importance this year as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), signed into law in 2015 by President Obama readies for state-level implementation in 2018, currently faces underfunding. The law specifies music as core part of a well-rounded education for all K-12 students.
Kloc said, “My participation in the Fly-In I felt was important as we must make sure music education maintains its vital place in the curriculum. We must insure we provide an opportunity to every child in the United States to receive a well-rounded education. Several studies from notable neurobiologists, including Neurobiology of Everyday Communication: What have we learned from Music? by Nina Kraus of Northwestern University, have proven musical experience affects the brain function across the lifespan of a child.”
The Advocacy week began on Monday, May 22 with a Day of Service at Jefferson Middle School Academy. Members from the group provided three hours of music education instruction on drum, ukulele and guitar for the middle school students. NAMM delegates also provided maintenance and repair to many of the school’s existing instruments. That evening, François joined The NAMM Foundation in awarding the SupportMusic Champion Award to Senator Robert Casey (PA). The award was presented in recognition of the Senator’s long history in music education advocacy and role as a champion of the Every Student Succeeds Act.
On Tuesday, François prepared for his efforts on Capitol Hill by participating in advocacy training at the Newseum, during which he and fellow music industry leaders were apprised of current issues facing public school music programs and briefed on ESSA and the current political climate, from a variety of policy and arts leaders, including representatives from the United States Department of Education, Americans for the Arts (AFTA), the National Governors Association (NGA), the National Association for Music Educators (NAfME), and the National School Board Association (NSBA),among others. The group also enjoyed a special lunchtime session on current policy trends presented by PBS News Hour contributor, New York Times columnist and Turnaround Arts
artist, David Brooks. Kloc was also trained on developing state-level advocacy efforts for music and arts education to put into practice here in Florida.
On Wednesday, Kloc met with Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FLA), Rep. John Rutherford (R-FLA), Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FLA) office, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FLA) office and other elected officials to advocate for school-level music programs across the nation and to discuss the multitude of benefits music education espouses such as increased brain function, focus and language development, as discussed in a new research study from Northwestern University. The Country Music Association, VH1 Save the Music Foundation, and former New York Yankees centerfielder and three-time World Series winner, music education champion and Turnaround Arts artist Bernie Williams joined the day of advocacy, sharing his own experience in music education and a desire to create a more musical world.
In addition to the advocacy work, Kloc was part of a special Congressional reception, held on Wednesday, May 24 in the Mansfield Room at the U.S. Capitol that brought together arts advocates and policy makers.
Kloc is President and CEO of Buffet Crampon USA, located in Jacksonville, Florida, and is also President of Verne Q. Powell flutes, located in Maynard, Massachusetts, which was acquired by Buffet Crampon in 2016. Buffet Crampon USA is the North American headquarters of the world’s largest manufacturer of professional wind instruments. Based in Mantes la Ville, France (outside of Paris), Buffet Crampon Group is comprised of ten of the world’s leading professional and student woodwind and brass brands: Buffet Crampon (clarinets, oboes and saxophones), Besson (high and low brass), B&S (high and low brass), Antoine Courtois Paris (flugelhorns and trombones), Hans Hoyer (French horns), Keilwerth (saxophones), Melton Meinl Weston (low brass), Verne Q. Powell (flutes), J. Scherzer (rotary trumpets) and W.S. Schreiber (bassoons). Since relocating to North Florida in 2006, Buffet Crampon USA has been a strong advocate of music education in the area, donating instruments to local schools and universities, supporting guest artist clinics and appearances at schools and the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, and sponsoring the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.

WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 22: A group of NAMM members pose for a photo during NAMM Day Of Service At Jefferson Middle School Academy on May 22, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images for NAMM)