September 5, 2019 ·
Written By MARNI WALSH
On Wednesday, August 28, Rod West, “the morning guy and program director” of Country 105 in Shelburne, presented the music department at Centre Dufferin High School (CDDHS) with a cheque for $,1000.
The gift was accepted outside the station, by CDDHS music and drama teachers Andrea Parsons and Tanja Oomen along with a group of their music students.
“Every year we like to give back to the community by helping out people within the music community in the music genres, like singer/songwriters, artists, live bands, and music departments in schools with our CCD,” Mr. West told the Free Press.
CCD is a financial contribution made by broadcasters to initiatives that aid in the development and promotion of Canadian musical content.
Music teacher, Andrea Parsons said, “The station called us in June and offered to help out with a donation. This was entirely of their own volition and super wonderful of them.”
“Country 105 is the first truly local radio station for Dufferin County,” said Rod West. “We are committed to serving our listeners with the best local information, fun contests and entertainment, and 50,000 watts of Today’s Best Country.”
“We are so grateful,” for the donation Ms. Parsons said, “CDDHS has been able to purchase SAB scores (Soprano, Alto, Bass sheet music) for the vocal class.”
With the largest number of boys ever registered to start in the 2019-20 music class, Ms. Parsons said she needed to purchase new music to support them.
“We purchased a few new concert band scores, for our theme this year of Latin music rhythms,” said the music teacher.
She continued, “In order for this to work, I had to order a castanet machine, purchase music for each grade level that had Cuban and Latin undertones, and some traditional Christmas music set to Caribbean rhythms and use of non-Western instruments.” This year CDDHS’s winter concert will be Latin Fantasy and An Island Christmas.”
“I prefer to keep things fresh” said Ms. Parsons, “This way, the content, skill development and delivery changes every year, even if students have the same teacher delivering it.”
“Music is so important for overall brain, social and skill development,” Ms. Parsons said. “If students are to be trained for jobs that haven’t yet been created, how much better is it that we train them to persevere, take risks, analyze, learn to be disciplined and self-motivated, rather than teach a skill that may soon be obsolete? I think it’s vital.”
Ms. Parsons added, “I believe that without an arts education, and I include all artistic endeavours here – literary, dance, music, visual, sculpture, landscaping, culinary arts, etc., our ability to express ourselves as creative, intuitive, compassionate, and responsive human beings is in jeopardy. A public education system that emphasizes certain subjects while devaluing others, or is narrowly focused, is not one I would want to participate in. Our study of the arts provides transferable skills and make us more employable,” she said, “but I believe they also make us better human beings, better citizens, and better neighbours.”