MANITOULIN—As the Joan Mantle Music Trust celebrates 11 years of excellence, the impact of donations continues to reverberate, creating even more beautiful music in Rainbow Schools. Funding is now being distributed to elementary schools as well as secondary schools offering music programs.
Schools receiving instruments in 2018-2019 include Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School, Algonquin Road Public School and R.L. Beattie Public School; Confederation Secondary School, Valley View Public School and C.R. Judd Public School; and Manitoulin Secondary School, Central Manitoulin Public School and Charles C. McLean Public School.
“The Joan Mantle Music Trust has raised just over $240,000 since it was established in November 2008,” said Rainbow District School Board Chair Doreen Dewar. “All of our secondary schools have received three rounds of funding. As we begin the fourth round of funding, we are pleased that the Trust Steering Committee has included elementary feeder schools with music programs. Even more students in Rainbow Schools will benefit from the generous donations from local businesses and individuals.”
Confederation Secondary School, Espanola High School and Sudbury Secondary School received funding in the 2017-2018 school year. Chelmsford Valley District Composite School, Lasalle Secondary School and Lively District Secondary School received funding in 2016-2017. In 2015-2016, funding was provided to Lockerby Composite School, Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School and Manitoulin Secondary School.
“There is an ongoing need to revitalize music programs in our schools and we would like to thank all donors for their support,” said Director of Education Norm Blaseg. “Our students will reap the rewards for years to come as we continue to replenish the inventory of instruments in our schools.”
Kody Preseau and Faith Gravestock-Bleishwitz of Confederation Secondary School, who spoke on behalf of students, said they were fortunate to receive funding from the Joan Mantle Music Trust. “We were able to put last year’s funding to excellent use through the purchase of new percussion and woodwind instruments. The purchase of these instruments has allowed for growth within our percussion section and has helped to improve the quality of the instruments in our woodwind section.”
“At the beginning of last year, our percussion section consisted of three drum sets,” the students continued. “We are now proud to say that we have been able to add a variety of other instruments to this section to give our players are more well-rounded music experience on percussion. This year, we plan to add to our elementary music instrument inventory and to continue to build our secondary inventory.”
The money raised to date comes from individual donations, corporate contributions and special events, including $13,000 from the International Dinner and silent auction held last spring. Members of the community have also donated a variety of musical instruments including woodwind and brass instruments, guitars, drum sets and pianos.
To thank the community for its contributions, the 2018-2019 recipient secondary schools will host community concerts with their area elementary schools that have music programs. These concerts will appeal to music lovers of all ages.
The Joan Mantle Music Trust honours Joan Mantle, a long-time educator who made an immense contribution to music education locally. Joan Mantle passed away on June 9, 2009, after a courageous battle with cancer.
“It is so heartwarming for the entire family to see our mother’s love of music live on in the young people who are enjoying these new instruments,” said Leslie Mantle. “We are truly grateful to all community donors who continue to make this rich legacy possible. We also appreciate the donation of instruments from those who share our love of music.”
“There is nothing more encouraging to a student who is just learning about the joy that music can bring than to pick up a beautiful shiny new instrument,” Ms. Mantle continued. “My mother loved music, whether it was playing music herself, conducting the many bands that she led, or listening to others play, she loved music. That is what we are hoping for you: to build a love and appreciation for music. Embrace it and enjoy it and music will stay in your hearts forever.”
The Joan Mantle Music Trust allocates funds to school music programs in Rainbow District School Board on a rotating basis. The Trust also accepts the donation of new and used musical instruments and allocates them to schools in need. This ensures that there is an ongoing improvement in the condition of musical equipment throughout the Board, allowing for students to achieve more in their musical studies together.