Award-winning Vancouver rock band Marianas Trench thrilled students with a surprise visit to Lord Selkirk Elementary as MusiCounts donated $10,000 of musical instruments to the school.
MusiCounts, Canada's music education charity associated with The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS), donated the acoustic guitars, amps, keyboards, electric drums and a bass following an application from Selkirk teacher Amanda Hennessey.
Many of the students can't afford private music lessons and therefore rely on the school to access music, said Mme. Hennessey.
"This donation is huge for our school," she said. "It really means the world to the students who don't have the opportunity and the ones who really need music in order to have their moment to shine."
The visit of Marianas Trench was a complete surprise to students in divisions 17-21. The students had been practising the rockers' hit Who Do You Love and were performing it live when the stage curtains rolled back to reveal the band. The students reacted with excitement and an even more passionate performance.
"Putting musical instruments into the hands of kids to encourage creativity at that age is so important to us," said guitarist Matt Webb, who met lead singer Josh Ramsey in their school band. "You never know what's going to come out of these kids."
Ramsey highlighted a quality performance by one of the students sat at the piano and added: "That kid might grow up to be a musician and now he has the means to do that."
Elias, a Grade 5 student, said the donation meant a lot to the students. "It will allow us to play more music," he said.
MusiCounts director Kristy Fletcher said Mme. Hennessey had submitted an incredible application talking about the work she does, the dedication of the students, the size of the band program and the demographics of the school.
"When we come to a school like this and we see that kind of reaction and we know the impact we can have, that's why we do what we do," she added.
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