MASSENA -- Massena Music Friends (MMF) president Paul Hagget and members Pat Tubbs and Jamie Barnum recently presented Madison Elementary School and music teacher Mary Evans with a brand new Clavinova piano.
The piano fills a void left when the school’s electric keyboard stopped working.
The MMF gift is made possible, in part, by the generosity of the Village of Massena’s Performing Arts Committee. Last year, the committee sponsored Orchestra of Northern NY’s well-received performance of Handel’s “Messiah” at Sacred Heart Church and then donated $1,750 of the proceeds to MMF to augment current music or fine arts programs in Massena Schools.
“We received our donation in January of 2012 and our plan was to combine it with monies raised to build up a fund and set up a mechanism that would give us the capacity to meet “beyond-the-school-budget” needs and opportunities,” said MMF member Pat Tubbs.
When MMF learned from Music Department Chair Jonathan Hunkins that Madison’s keyboard was not working, the gift seemed a perfect fit.
“Since the piano was vital to Mary’s job, is used every day, would benefit every child in the school and cost about the same as the money we were gifted by the Mayor’s Performing Arts Committee earlier this year, it was a no-brainer for us,” said Mr. Haggert.
“Our group voted to donate the “Messiah” proceeds to meet this need allowing us to immediately step in and make sure Mary Evans was not without a keyboard for long,” added Ms. Tubbs.
As the immediate beneficiary of the gift, music teacher Mary Evans spoke for everyone at the school, “We, at Madison, are thrilled with the Clavinova and with the generosity of the Massena Music Friends. We all say ‘thank you.’”
"In this day of tight school finances, the school doesn't have the money to always give our staff and students all they need. It is truly appreciated when a parent or community group such as the MMF steps in to fill the gap," said Superintendent Roger B. Clough II.
MMF is a community run organization created to support and promote music education in Massena Schools. The group will host the Orchestra of Northern New York this year for a holiday performance on Saturday, Dec. 15 at the Massena High School. Proceeds will help meet additional non-budgeted music department needs.