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“Score!” – Sudbury Catholic Receives Significant Funding to Support Music Programming

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picture attached - St. Benedict teacher Leanne Urso and her students (from left to right) Evan Mason, Hannah Conrad, Nick Principe and Peter Boylan begin to unload the huge shipment of music equipment arriving from Toronto.

May 3, 2012 - The grade 8 students at St. Benedict donned their coats and waited by the door for the vehicle from St. John’s Music in Toronto to arrived jammed packed with goods. Getting ready to unload their order, their teacher, Leanne Urso, couldn’t stop herself from grinning – “Its like Christmas!” exclaimed Urso.  Both Urso and St. Anne’s vice principal, Joanne Comisso applied for some funding back in June to support the board’s music programming.  Successful in their grant application, both staff members received word that the Sudbury Catholic Board would be receiving $20,000 worth of musical instruments and other music paraphernalia from MusiCounts.  MusiCounts is a music education charity associated with the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, working towards keeping music alive in schools across Canada.  This specific grant, called the Band Aid grant, speaks to their mission of ensuring that children in Canada have access to comprehensive music programs through their schools, regardless of socio-economic circumstances. On Friday, September 30, MusiCounts held a press conference to announce this year’s recipients of these grants nationwide, with the help of Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies, as well as Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield.  A total of $600,000 was distributed to over 80 school communities across the country.  Sudbury Catholic was the only recipient in Northeastern Ontario successful in their grant application. 

Both Urso and Comisso conduct the elementary Sudbury Catholic concert band, which is comprised of grade 7 and 8 students from St. Anne, St. Raphael, Pius XII and St. Benedict. This band, which practices separately in their individual schools, come together on several occasions throughout the school year to perform as one.  With the arrival of new instruments and music programming material, both Urso and Comisso were overjoyed with the success of their application.  “We are both so passionate about music,” Comisso stated.  “This arrival of instruments and materials is a huge, huge addition to our programming, and we are so fortunate.”

Barry MacDonald, Chair of the Board for Sudbury Catholic echoed Comisso’s comments.  “ What an outstanding accomplishment for our Board.  This substantial delivery of musical instruments etc., is a direct result of the hard work and dedication of our staff,” MacDonald stated.  “The passion that drives our staff to offer our students more, directly impacts these students, and allows our staff to deliver above standard programming.” 
Upcoming concert dates will be announced in the near future with the band performing in and around the city, with their brand new instruments.

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