Ti music program spared

TICONDEROGA - The Ticonderoga summer enrichment music program has been saved.

A private donation will allow the program to continue thus year at the Ticonderoga Elementary-Middle School.

The program had been eliminated from the 2010-11 school district budget as administrators struggled to close a $725,418 deficit. An initial budget proposal was defeated by district voters before an $18.1 million spending plan was passed.

Donna Vanwirt donated the funds for the program in honor of her parents, Jean and Elliott Shaw.

"The Ticonderoga Central School District is pleased to announce that it will be able to continue with its summer music program at the Elementary/Middle School due the generous donation from a private source," Superintendent John McDonald said. "Mrs. Vanwirt was very concerned with the elimination of this program because of the budget difficulty this year as she understands the important role music plays in complimenting the education of children.

"As a result, she has offered to fund the program herself in order to maintain the continuity of instruction from one school year to the next," McDonald said.

The program serves students in grades 5-12 who are interested in studying all areas of music and will be held at the renovated music facility at the elementary-middle school. Past sessions have included instrumental and vocal instruction, jazz improvisation, aural musical skill development, guitar, piano improvisation and college audition preparation.

The program will begin on Tuesday, July 13, and run for five weeks, Tuesday - Thursday from 8 a.m. to noon. Students may sign up for a time slot during the first week of sessions.

"Music in the summer is a wonderful opportunity for continued growth or to explore a new musical direction," McDonald said.

McDonald expressed gratitude for Vanwirt's generosity.

"It is wonderful to see such support from members of our community given the difficult financial times," he said. "On behalf of the district and students, I would like to thank Mrs. Vanwirt for her kind gesture and understanding of the role music plays in the education of young people."

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