The Brattleboro Music Center has been awarded grants from the Max Y. Seaton Memorial Trust and the Turrell Fund for support of its Music in the Schools Program during the 2009-10 school year.
The Music in the Schools program is a collaboration between the Brattleboro Music Center and area public schools, offering Windham County school children access to enhanced musical experiences beyond what is available in their schools. This is the second consecutive year of funding by these foundations.
The Brattleboro Music Center's Music in the Schools program offers free stringed instrument instruction in the public schools, a series of in-school concerts by professional musicians, and an annual children's performance of the Windham Orchestra at the Latchis Theatre attended by over a thousand elementary schoolchildren last year.
The Music in the Schools String Instrument Program, for which the grant funding was designated, provides free group violin and cello lessons to students during the school day and offers students an opportunity to participate in an after-school string orchestra. During the 2008-2009 school year, Green Street School, Academy School and Oak Grove School participated in the String Instrument Program with over 40 students taking advantage of the free lessons offered. The BMC provides instruments and subsidizes the cost.
In addition, 22 elementary school children participated in the BMC's beginner level string orchestra, the Prima Orchestra, conducted by Lisa Ferrigno, Music in the Schools coordinator, and David Tasgal. Students in the Prima Orchestra perform two concerts each year and give outreach concerts at Brattleboro area retirement homes and community centers. Last year they collaborated with other student orchestras and the Windham Orchestra in a performance at the Latchis Theatre as part of the Windham Orchestra's Listen Local Concert. Children who graduate from Prima have the opportunity to step up to the Music Center's Junior and Senior Orchestras.