Today, three-time ECMA nominee Eleanor McCain and JUNO Award nominee Matt Dusk joined MusiCounts, for a special holiday celebration at St. Aidan Catholic School in Scarborough. Through Eleanor McCain’s generous contribution of her True North: The Canadian Songbook Commemorative Band Aid Grants, St. Aidan Catholic School and four additional schools across the country were awarded $20,000 in new instruments via the MusiCounts Band Aid Program. As part of the festivities Eleanor McCain and Matt Dusk took to the stage to perform a special holiday medley of songs for students.
“These commemorative grants, like the one St Aidan Catholic School received, have the power to transform a school music program for generations of students,” said Kristy Fletcher, Director, MusiCounts. “MusiCounts is so thankful to Eleanor McCain for her generous support, and we were excited to get in the holiday spirit today with performances from St Aidan Catholic School, Eleanor McCain and Matt Dusk.”
“It is such an honour to be here today to celebrate the the incredible work that MusiCounts does to ensure that kids have access to music programs and instruments,” said Eleanor McCain. “It is so inspiring to see such talented young musicians here that will benefit from the enhanced grant for years to come.”
After treating school students to a performance of the festive classics “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, “Let It Snow” and “Most Wonderful Time of Year”, Eleanor McCain and Matt Dusk sat down for a Q&A with the students to share their own experiences and how music education has shaped their careers. Sydney Singh, St. Aidan Catholic School’s music teacher, led students in a performance for the delighted auditorium, then spoke about the school’s music program and the impact the new instruments have had this year.
The past few years have seen the St. Aidan Catholic School music program grow, with students eager to take on the challenge of learning complex string instruments including the violin, viola, cello and bass. Before receiving the grant, the instruments that made up the program’s inventory were decades old. Through the generous contribution, the program will continue to flourish and build self-esteem for students in a positive environment.
2016-2017 True North: The Canadian Songbook Commemorative Band Aid Grant Recipient Schools
St. Aidan Catholic School – Toronto, ON
École primaire Langlois – Salaberry de Valleyfield, QC
Jack Hulland Elementary School – Whitehorse, YT
Qiqirtaq High School – Gjoa Haven, NU
Winnipegosis Elementary School – Winnipegosis, MB
Photo Credit: Barry Roden