The Joliet Central High School Band accepted a $5,000 grant from the Country Music Association (CMA) and Give a Note foundations on March 17, during the Radio Disney Music in Our Schools Concert.
Along with performances from Radio Disney Artists, Los 5, and the Central Band, Director Don Stinson accepted the prestigious honorary Radio Disney Music Awards (RDMA) “ARDY.”
Central won the grant and concert after viewers voted daily for videos submitted by schools through an online contest that garnered more than 60,000 views.
The CMA Foundation also named Central music educator Don Stinson a 2017 CMA Music Teacher of Excellence. Stinson will receive the award during a dinner hosted by five-time CMA Vocal Group of the Year Little Big Town Wednesday, April 26, at the Nissan Stadium in Nashville.
“I am extremely grateful for the grants from Give a Note and the CMA foundations,” said Stinson. “The reality at Joliet Central is that more than 70 percent of the students in our band program do not own, or cannot rent, their instrument. Our administration believes in and supports our music programs. They work hard to provide equipment, materials and opportunities for our student groups, but band programs can be costly for schools and individual students. We are fortunate to receive this extra support.”
Cristian Torres is a senior at Joliet Central High School and a percussionist in the band. Cristian plans to become a music educator as well.
“The Central music program has not only shown me how to become a well-trained musician, but has also built my character, bettered my work ethic, and pushed me to succeed in being a supportive and helpful person in the community,” said Cristian, who calls the music program at Joliet his “second home.”
“The band program is a vital component of our school culture,” adds Joliet Central Principal Shad Hallihan. “Through their performances at assemblies, sporting events, parades, and school and community concerts, the band program is a source of pride for our school and community. The additional resources and opportunities that these grants provide will allow this fantastic program to have an even greater impact.”
To learn more about Give a Note Foundation and the Music In Our Schools Tour, visit www.giveanote.org and follow the hashtag #MusicInspires. Be sure to follow the Tour on Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.