School gets $10,000 music grant

The sound of music will be alive and well at Park Avenue Elementary School for at least the next few years after the school won a $10,000 grant to buy instruments this week.

MusiCounts, a Canadian charity devoted to helping keep music alive in schools, announced Tuesday that the Nanaimo school would receive a ‘Band Aid’ grant to bring instruments and other necessities to its music program.

Music teacher Hugh Middleton started a band program at the school last fall with a combination of donated, borrowed and rented instruments. His goal was to create an inventory of instruments for students to use, while setting aside a pot of money to maintain those instruments, so that the program will continue when families don’t have the money to buy or rent instruments.

With the grant money he hopes to buy about a dozen instruments and some more music stands, and set some money aside for repairs.

“I think it will really help keep our program going for three or four years,” said Middleton. “It’s just absolutely fantastic.”

Since word spread last fall that he was looking for help, Middleton has received more than 30 donated instruments, including guitars, which he is using for an after school rock club for students.

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