Press release submitted by Rollstone Bank & Trust
Rollstone Bank & Trust’s Charitable Foundation has awarded Indian Hill Music a $50,000 grant to support the non-profit community music school’s instrumental music and ensemble education program for students in Fitchburg and Leominster, and to support the organization’s growth as it prepares to move to its new location in Groton in fall 2022.
As a community bank dedicated to the citizens of the region, Fitchburg-based Rollstone Bank & Trust shares Indian Hill Music’s commitment to improving the quality of life of its neighbors throughout the area.
Melissa Maranda, Indian Hill Music Board Member and Senior Vice President-Wealth Management / Senior Trust Officer at Rollstone Bank & Trust, presents Indian Hill Music Director of Development, Catherine Coleman, with a $50,000 check from the Rollstone Charitable Foundation. (Courtesy photos)
Bucket drumming teacher Tim Kane instructs students at the Boys and Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster.
Ukulele teacher Douglas Siqueira helps students at the Boys and Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster find the right notes.
"Music programs in public schools are often underfunded," said Martin F. Connors, Jr., President & CEO of Rollstone Bank & Trust. "Rollstone Bank has been a long-time supporter of Indian Hill Music School and we are honored to help them provide this very important education to the middle school students of Leominster and Fitchburg.”
The grant supports Indian Hill Music’s partnerships in two historically underfunded districts. In three middle schools in Fitchburg, Indian Hill’s professional faculty offer lessons in band and string instruments and ensemble instruction. At the Boys and Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster, Indian Hill faculty offer after-school and summer lessons and classes, including bucket drumming and ukulele.
- "I really like the class and drumming,” said 9-year-old Lucas, “I like listening to its music and just overall just like the beat and drumming.”
- "I like making my own rhythm," said Alianya, an 8-year-old ukulele student. “I love how the ukulele sounds!"
- "I like beating on the drum,” said Kiana, who is also 8 years old. “I like my teacher. He is easy to learn from."
What group drumming does for any age group, and in particular children and teens, is provide an instantaneous connection to their peers and their own emotions powered through rhythmic movements and shared vibrations. These kids are learning to drum, but much more importantly they are learning about themselves,” said Tim Kane, drumming teacher.
Now in its fourth year, Indian Hill Music’s school partnership at McKay Arts Academy in Fitchburg rolled out the school’s first concert band program and provides free band instrument and ensemble instruction to more than 50 fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students each week during the school day. Experienced Indian Hill faculty offer lessons in traditional band instruments - woodwinds, brass, and percussion - and conduct the multi-level student concert bands, culminating in their performing together in two annual school concerts.
At Fitchburg’s Longsjo and Memorial Middle Schools, an experienced Indian Hill violin teacher has been working with students since 2019 to provide string lessons and ensemble instruction. Although both programs have been on hiatus during the pandemic, Indian Hill faculty are offering lessons to some of these students online, and the organization’s robust in-person school partnership programs will commence once the districts deem it safe to do so.
“Rollstone Bank & Trust is helping Indian Hill Music at an extraordinary time. Even during the pandemic, we are investing heavily in all aspects of our organization, so that we can significantly improve the quality of life for people of all ages and backgrounds -- now and for generations to come,” said Lisa Fiorentino, Indian Hill Music’s Chief Executive Officer. “Rollstone Bank & Trust has donated generously to Indian Hill since 2013, and in recent years has been a leader in supporting our music outreach efforts serving high-need students in Fitchburg and Leominster. We are so thankful for their continued support.”
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