Wake County Public School System

Hall of Fame


Sara Maria Blanton

Founder & Executive Director, Raleigh Music Collective

In the summer of 2019, Sara Maria Blanton, Founder and Executive Director of the Raleigh Music Collective, embarked on a mission driven by passion and community spirit. She personally funded the purchase of 12 violins and reached out to the local non-profit Refugee Hope Partners with a vision: to establish a free violin class for elementary students eager to learn. Drawing on her experience with El Sistema-inspired music programs since 2016, Blanton aimed to merge her private lessons studio with her work at Refugee Hope Partners into a unified El Sistema-inspired nonprofit.

The Raleigh Music Collective has seen significant growth since its inception, expanding from the initial 12 students to over 100 participants. The organization now offers a range of activities including private lessons, group classes, ensemble rehearsals, and camps. With a mission to foster integration and community through music education, the program is inclusive, providing lessons and group classes to both paying students and those requiring financial assistance. This approach not only enhances musical skills but also strengthens the diverse fabric of Raleigh’s communities.

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