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Friends of Music donate $500 to school jazz band

By Staff | May 4, 2017

Submitted photo Members of the class with Friends of Music Board members Andrew McMillan and Linda Walker, left, present a check to band teacher Chad Conant, far right, along with her students.

The Friends of Music have donated $500 to the Shepherdstown Middle School’s award-winning Jazz Band. The check was presented during Band class at the school on Thursday, April 13.

The funds will be used toward the purchase of a new Fender Standard 4-String Jazz Bass Guitar. The total cost of the guitar will be $549; the remaining $49 will be covered by the school’s Band program, with funds raised by Band students through their annual fundraiser.

Friends of Music President Kenneth Mann said the donation is part of a larger effort by the Friends of Music to help support quality music education in local schools. He said the organization is dedicating a total of $3,500 to this purpose this year.

The Shepherdstown Middle School band program is highly regarded in the region and statewide. Under Ms. Conant’s leadership, the school’s bands frequently win high honors in competitions. The Jazz Band has been named the state’s best middle school jazz band four times in the last six years.

The school’s Band program also puts a premium on community outreach. The Jazz Band each year performs at several community events, including the Sounds of Fall Community Concert at Asbury United Methodist Church, the Shepherdstown Community Thanksgiving Service, a meeting of the Shepherdstown Rotary Club, and a concert at Canterbury Nursing Home.

The Friends of Music organization is a Shepherdstown-based, nonprofit that was founded in 1999 to support and promote musical excellence. It supports the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra, the only professional classical music orchestra in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, and one of only three of such orchestras in the state.

Full information about the Friends and the Orchestra is available at www.friendswv.org.