Bowmanville’s Harold Longworth Public School received special treatment yesterday, receiving a $10,000 MusiCounts Band Aid Grant made possible through the Boots and Hearts Music Festival’s generous support to fund new instruments for their music program. 2014 JUNO Award winner for Breakthrough Artist of the Year and country star, Brett Kissel, performed hits from his smash debut album Started With A Song including “Canadian Kid” where he was accompanied by Harold Longworth’s music teacher Mrs. Laurie Mitchell on violin.
“I’m so proud and inspired by all the students and staff here today who have taken the time to pick up an instrument,” says Brett Kissel. “To me, music is one of the most important things you can do and I’m so happy to be part of this day with everyone here.”
For Harold Longworth Public School, the grant has been used to primarily purchase equipment for wind instruments, including mouthpieces, which the students previously had to share prior to receiving this grant.
The presentation also recognized the substantial support MusiCounts has received from Republic Live, producers of the Boots and Hearts Music Festival. Executive Director of Republic Live, Shannon McNevan, was on hand to address the students and speak about the growing popularity of country music in Canada.
“The country music community has always been very supportive of us,” says Allan Reid, Director, MusiCounts. “We’re honoured to have such an incredibly talented country artist, like Brett join us to celebrate Boots and Hearts’ support of MusiCounts. They truly understand how important it is to support music education programs in their community.”
“Our partnership with MusiCounts has always been about how we can strengthen the music programs for schools here in Clarington,” said Shannon McNevan, Executive Director, Republic Live. “We are so happy to see the impact this grant will have for the students of Harold Longworth. Music education is not only a cornerstone to the continuing development of Canadian talent it also fosters the growth of creativity in the student body that long outlives their educational journey. It’s the students of today that will be artists of tomorrow.”
This year, MusiCounts has awarded over $600,000 to 70 schools nationwide with Band Aid Grants. In the province of Ontario to date, over $2.2 million has been provided to school based music programs.