Holland Road music program earns $10,000 MusiCounts award

Kerstin Boyce at the awards ceremony where HRES was presented their cheque for the music program. (Submitted photo)

FLETCHERS LAKE: The students in the music program at Holland Road School will be feeling the lasting effects of a $10,000 award from MusiCounts Canada for years to come.

Officially announced recently, recently retired music program teacher Kerstin Boyce was told of the school being the recipient of the award in late 2019.

“It is hard to put into words how delighted and excited I was when I was told that the Holland Road School Music Program was going to receive the award,” said Boyce.

The $10,000 comes from the Music Education Charity of Canada, which is commonly referred to as MusiCounts Canada.

Boyce said the support of the Holland Road students, parents, school staff, administration and greater community are what made this award possible.

“Over the past eight years we have been fortunate to develop a trust and music program with all stakeholders that can only occur with the passage of time,” she said. “When I arrived at Holland Road it was my goal to offer a safe and happy place for any student that wanted to take part.

“Whether through choir, recorder classes, Christmas concerts, mini musicals, choir trips or choir parties, if I could introduce students to the joy of music in an inclusive welcoming way then all the work would be worthwhile.”

Kerstin Boyce and Alan Doyle. (Submitted photo)

The program at the Fletchers Lake-based school has become a success, growing exponentially to where they have more than 110 students.

“It has been a wonderful journey where the choir, which to me is a highlight of the program here at Holland Road, has grown from 63 students to this year where we had upwards of 115,” said Boyce.

Boyce said the reality is school funds are limited and as much as music and the arts are recognized for the importance that they play in shaping fantastic future citizens they are not recognized when it comes to budget time at school district offices.

“Like me when I was younger, many of our students would not be exposed to the joy of music if not for what school music programs offer.,” she said. “There is generally no extra funding for instruments, sound equipment or other resources that enhance school music programs.

“That is why this award from MusiCounts Canada will have such a lasting effect on our school community. “

Kerstin Boyce. (Submitted nphoto)

Boyce said Holland Road School has not had any major upgrade of instruments and equipment in probably 10 years.

The award comes at a special time as Boyce retires from being the music program teachers.

“I can’t be happier to know that the school will have funds to restock the cupboards at the school,” said Boyce. “I can envision sound equipment, xylophones, drums, recorders, Orff instruments and much more.

“We are so fortunate for groups like MusiCounts Canada that care so much about music education.”