Music for the Schools Program receives grant


ASAP! has received a $6,500 grant from the Woodbury-Bethlehem Community Music Foundation in support of their Music For the Schools Program.

The funds will be used to host four in-school interactive concerts for 1,675 students on April 7, 2020 at the newly renovated Nonnewaug High School Auditorium in Region 14. Twenty-five students from ASAP!’s Interdistrict Strings Project will perform side-by-side with twenty Waterbury Symphony Orchestra musicians lead by WSO Music Director and Conductor Lief Bjaland who is celebrating 25 years as Maestro.

Leading up to the concerts, ASAP!’s Interdistrict Strings students work for four months with professional musicians from WSO. Violinist and lead teacher Lisa Laquidera, cellist Mary Costanza, and violinist Claudia Hafer-Tondi guide students in strengthening their playing techniques and learning new music to be performed. Students from across the state collaborate and work towards a common goal in preparing for Music for the Schools concerts. The culminating side-by-side performances provide a rare chance for the students to be mentored by working musicians and to participate in a large scale professional performance.

Dr. Joseph Olzacki, region 14 superintendent, and Jason Bouchard, Director of Fine Arts at Region 14, were instrumental in bringing these concerts to Region 14. In preparation for the concerts, and to expand on the educational experience, ASAP! provides curriculum guides for teachers to share with students. The guides are intended to connect the music to be performed with relevant history lessons, social studies, music, and art. Teachers may integrate the information into their subjects making the concert experience for the students more accessible and relevant.

 ASAP! is a social profit arts organization that reaches 9,000+ children a year throughout Connecticut. They are thrilled to be celebrating 20 years of fostering creative, hands-on learning through the arts. Thanks to the generosity of their supporters, they are able to offer affordable arts education programs throughout Connecticut. ASAP! never turns a child away and will provide nearly $40,000 in financial aid to families in need this year.