CAROLYN THOMPSON -- TELEGRAPH-JOURNAL
04 JUN 2012 09:02AM
SAINT JOHN – Sistema New Brunswick is asking for instrument donations to ensure all kids have something to play in the coming season. The instrument donation drive will run from June 4 to 15.
“The instrument will get played more than it ever has in its entire life,” says Aaron McFarlane, the centre director in Saint John. The Sistema program allows children from low-income communities to learn to play an instrument in an after-school orchestra, a program run by the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra. The ages range from about 6 to 10 years old, and in the coming year the program aims to admit more than 350 students. “An instrument in the hands of a kid in their circumstances, it’s a chance for kids to dream,” McFarlane says, adding he’s seen the effect of the program on the kids. “When you can dream big, it’s really easy to dream past your circumstance.”
That’s really the goal of the program, says Ken MacLeod, the president of the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra. He says the original founder of the program wanted to teach kids that only by working as a group could they be successful.
The instruments are shared by the three program locations – Saint John, Moncton, and a new program this year in Richibucto.
“The great thing is that child who otherwise wouldn’t have the chance is able to use that instrument every single day,” MacLeod says. The children rehearse three hours a day, five days a week in the program.
In Saint John, donations can be dropped off at the CBC Radio building at 560 Main Street, or at the Saint John Sistema Centre at Hazen-White/St. Francis School, 538 Sandy Point Road.
MacLeod says they welcome donations of any type of instrument, and tax receipts are available.
“If an instrument’s not being used, I couldn’t think of a better investment than making it available to a young person,” he says. “It could change their life.”
For more information contact email@example.com or 866-7920.