Impact Stories

Choose Henry is Making Music through Piano Grant

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With recent renovations to the New Castle Middle School Building, the choir department found itself in need of a new piano.

Choir Director, Matthew Hurst, sees the choir department thriving even after all of the ups and downs of the Covid-19 pandemic. “We are very fortunate to have a strong and successful choir program in New Castle. We continued growing even during the difficulties of making music throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Having been a part of the music program as a student in New Castle, Mr. Hurst has always found it like a second family to him. He shared, “Mrs. Judy Hubbard played a large role in cultivating a strong climate of support and learning in her choirs. Today, we keep this family tradition alive, with Judy Hubbard playing piano for our choirs and with me as the head director. I am proud to have been a part of the New Castle Music Department throughout the past 20 years.”

Though Mrs. Hubbard has retired from teaching music, she continues to spend time with the choirs as the pianist and as an advocate in the community for the needs within the department. “My passion is to give students a well-rounded education in music.  Music and all the arts are so important in a student’s life.  To do this, equipment is needed. Sometimes the schools do not have sufficient funds for all required equipment. I have always found that our community supports kids and the arts,” she explained.

So, Mrs. Hubbard decided to apply for a grant from the Henry County Community Foundation.

Funding from the Choose Henry Flex Fund provided them with the grant to fill this need. Mr. Hurst shared, “The piano we chose is sturdy, loud, and contains important music technology for teaching fast-paced musical ensembles. Not only does it have enough volume to balance our entire show choir, but we are also able to use it to make fully digital accompaniment tracks that our students can practice at home as they prepare for solo competitions, ensemble work, or even continued classroom learning during ELearning days.”

When you donate to Choose Henry, you can see your dollars go to work in the community and make a difference for years to come through grants like this one. Now, the choir department has a piano built to last and take care of learning needs.