Student Musicians Win National Tour Stop
KSAL Staff - March 9, 2017 3:30 pm
In the winning video, South Middle School's Advanced Guitar Ensemble performed a round by Mozart.
A Salina school will receive a special award, a special performance, and a big check.
Salina South Middle School, and music teacher Matt Gerry, have won a tour stop on the Give a Note Foundation’s fourth annual “Music In Our Schools – Music Inspires Tour.” This year along with Radio Disney and Radio Disney Country, the Country Music Association Foundation is joining by matching grants to the six schools selected for the Tour – with a total of $30,000 to be presented to schools for their music programs.
After more than 60,000 views of 12 semifinalist school videos, during which viewers voted daily for their favorite schools last fall, Salina South Middle School was among the six schools selected to be part of the Tour.
“The students chose to perform a round by Mozart which I thought was very fitting,” said music teacher Matt Gerry about the video Salina South Middle School students submitted. “Music brings us together, and the very nature of a round relies on all sections performing well to produce a successful musical experience. This group definitely inspires me, and I love to see them inspire each other!”
Salina South Middle School will be presented a “big check” from Give a Note Foundation for $2,500, which will be matched by the CMA Foundation.
The CMA Foundation has also named music educator Matt Gerry a 2017 CMA Music Teacher of Excellence. He will attend a celebratory dinner hosted by five-time CMA Vocal Group of the Year Little Big Town Wednesday, April 26 at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, the home of CMA Music Festival’s Nightly Concerts.
“Every student needs a place to belong,” said Mr. Gerry, “but in my experience there is nothing like the arts and in particular music for fostering community, comradery, and empathy. Are we really making an impact in the lives of students though through music education? YES! Every time I see a timid child step up and play a solo in front of hundreds of people in an audience and see them ‘find their voice’; every time I see a group of my students, who all come from totally different backgrounds and totally different walks of life play a beautiful piece of music together; every time I see a student able to express a feeling through music that they couldn’t ever dream of putting into words—I know we are making a difference.”
Mr. Gerry will use the grant money to help meet needs in the guitar program to sustain the music program and continue to reach more students with music.
At the tour stop in Salina next week Disney artist Tegan Marie will join in celebrating the talented students with a performance, hosted by Radio Disney Country on-air personality Betsy. The school will also be presented an honorary Radio Disney Music Awards “ARDY” Statuette.