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Music Matters donates $15,000 to Willmar schools

WILLMAR -- Music Matters of Willmar has offered $15,000 to Willmar Public Schools to preserve the district's fourth-grade orchestra program in the 2016-17 school year.The group's purpose is to support music programs in Willmar's schools.Superinte...

Practice
In this 2013 file photo, violinists Rachel Puig, left, and Allie Vera practice a few lines from a score during fourth-grade orchestra practice at Roosevelt Elementary School in Willmar.

WILLMAR - Music Matters of Willmar has offered $15,000 to Willmar Public Schools to preserve the district’s fourth-grade orchestra program in the 2016-17 school year.
The group’s purpose is to support music programs in Willmar’s schools.
Superintendent Jeff Holm said Monday that the group’s donations are appreciated and should help preserve the program.
“It’s very likely to work out,” he said. “On behalf of the district, I am very grateful that they are willing to support our needs.”
According to a news release from Music Matters over the weekend, the group’s board of directors made the offer at a meeting at which they approved several other grant requests.
Funding for fourth-grade orchestra was eliminated for the 2016-17 school year in a package of budget cuts made by the School Board this winter. In the release, Music Matters expressed its concern with preserving the district’s 60-year-old orchestra program and referred to the fourth- and fifth-grade programs as the foundation of the program.
“Acquisition of skills on string instruments is more complex than other instruments and requires more time for students to develop the fundamental skills,” the release said.
Other grants awarded were for $1,516.15 to purchase drums and bells for use in elementary music, $640 for repair kits and autoharp for elementary use and $500 for choral music at Willmar Middle School.
According to the release, reserve funds from previous fundraising to preserve orchestra will be used for the orchestra donation.
The group has funded many instruments and provided for other needs for the music program. Currently, Music Matters also contributes toward the cost of providing advanced music lessons from the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis via online video connections.
“I have nothing but complimentary things to say about them,” Holm said. “They are just good, good people.”

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Related Topics: MUSIC
In 42 years in the newspaper industry, Linda Vanderwerf has worked at several daily newspapers in Minnesota, including the Mesabi Daily News, now called the Mesabi Tribune in Virginia. Previously, she worked for the Las Cruces Sun-News in New Mexico and the Rapid City Journal in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She has been a reporter at the West Central Tribune for nearly 27 years.

Vanderwerf can be reached at email: lvanderwerf@wctrib.com or phone 320-214-4340
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