One of the core aspects of Indian Hill Music’s mission is to “give music generously when there is need.” You may know that for 12 years Ayer Shirley elementary students have been able to study the instrument of their choice – including violin – through a unique music partnership with Indian Hill Music. Today our school outreach projects have expanded to Littleton Academy and the high-need Fitchburg and Lawrence districts.
McKay Arts Academy, Fitchburg, MA
This year, Indian Hill helped launch the long-time dream of a vibrant public school in Fitchburg: to create a middle school concert band. Two dozen motivated young musicians participated in lessons and ensemble training on woodwinds, brass, and percussion instruments. “We knew that we had eager future musicians here, and our dream was to have a ‘McKay Band’,” said Lourdes Ramirez, school Principal. “Our students love this experience, and I am thrilled to be able to provide them with this opportunity,” commented Ramirez. “I deeply appreciate Indian Hill Music’s commitment to bringing this program to McKay’s students and our community here in Fitchburg.” (Pictured: McKay Arts Academy band students perform in their first-ever spring concert.)
Fitchburg High School, Fitchburg, MA
Brass and woodwind players from the Fitchburg High School band had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform and improvise with music legend, composer, and performer David Amram, during a concert presented by Indian Hill Music at the Fitchburg Art Museum. The students prepared for the performance in sectionals led by Indian Hill Music School faculty and musicians from the Orchestra of Indian Hill. Fitchburg High School band director Tabitha Greenlees commented that it was a “great experience, hearing and playing with such a dynamic performer, diving into the jazz idiom, and having the chance to explore and perform this repertoire together.” (Pictured: Fitchburg HS band students perform with David Amram.)
Lawrence High School, Lawrence, MA
At Lawrence High School, Indian Hill flute instructor Dr. Eileen Yarrison (Artistic Director of New England Flute Orchestra of Indian Hill Music), conducted weekly sectionals with student flutists and brass players throughout the spring. “She taught me lots of things I don’t know. She kept making us not give up.” – Lawrence High School flute player on instructor Dr. Eileen Yarrison. (Pictured: Dr. Yarrison directs Lawrence High School flute ensemble.)
Littleton Academy, Littleton, MA
A highlight of Indian Hill teacher Joey Pierog’s week is the time he spends with the young students of Littleton Academy. The weekly sessions, held on-site at the therapeutic residential school, offer a way for the boys and girls aged 6-12 to express themselves, build trust, and experience the joy of music-making in a supportive and joyful setting. “The kids just love the fact that they can get in, get their hands on instruments, and create something. The very first time it was a song on a ukulele. And for our kids who may have somehow convinced themselves that ‘The Impossible’ is their middle name, this helped to prove otherwise. And to open doors and turn on lights like that has been really thrilling for a lot of them.”- James Doig, Education Administrator, Littleton Academy (Pictured: Indian Hill Music School’s Joey Pierog leads Littleton Academy students in a musical learning game.)
Ayer Shirley Regional School District
Our ongoing school music partnership in the Ayer Shirley district continued this year with violin lessons for students at Page Hilltop and Lura A. White elementary schools. “When we learned of the Indian Hill school partnership program, [our daughter] was excited and so were we. Brooke thoroughly enjoyed learning how to play using her grandfather’s violin and enjoying happy memories of her grandmother. The concert at the end was a joyful event and opportunity for her to showcase her budding talents playing on our family violin.” – Jeanette W., Shirley, MA (Pictured left: Lura A. White Elementary School violin students perform with school music teacher Marla Farrow at end-of-year concert. Pictured right: Lura A. White student Brooke W. performs in school concert.)
Indian Hill Music, as a regional non-profit organization, is grateful for the generous support for these outreach programs from Bemis Associates; Groton Ayer Realty Trust; Lawrence Cultural Council; Main Street Bank; Massachusetts Cultural Council; The Ramsey McCluskey Family Foundation; The National Endowment for the Arts; Rollstone Bank & Trust; and individual donors.
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