On the Net
To view the Liberty Middle School band’s winning video entry, as well as those of the other 72 national winners, go to www.gleegiveanote.com.
A north Forsyth middle school music program has received a sizable Christmas gift.
Members of Liberty Middle’s band learned Wednesday night that the program will receive a $25,000 grant from the Glee Give a Note Campaign.
A total of $1 million is being awarded to 73 schools throughout the nation in various increments. Liberty is one of 10 to receive $25,000.
The contest was created by the National Association for Music Education and the Give a Note Foundation. Both groups worked with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, which produces the hit TV series “Glee.”
According to the school system, the campaign was created to bring attention to the importance of music education in schools and to help provide funding to school music programs.
The $1 million in grant funding was raised through sales of “Glee” DVDs.
Schools were invited to submit videos that explained why their school’s music program was in need. Nearly 500 submissions from around the country came in.
Connie Stovall, Liberty’s principal, called the win “awesome.”
“Definitely for me, this will be one of the most memorable events I have as a principal,” she said.
Stovall said she was contacted Dec. 9 by contest organizers, who told her of the band’s victory.
“I had to keep it a secret for several days,” she said. “I didn’t even tell the band director.”
Instead, she informed him, all the band students and their parents during the school’s annual holiday concert Wednesday night.
Band director Josh Tyree said he was floored when he learned the news.
“We have multiple pictures floating around school of me with my jaw dropped and me doing jumping jacks,” he said. “I was literally jumping up and down.”
Tyree said students and parents were equally thrilled to learn of the award.
“It was hard to get everybody to quiet back down,” he said. “There was mass pandemonium.”
Tyree thanked band parents, who took the lead on the video submission back in September.
“My wife and I were having our third child, so I farmed it out to the parents,” Tyree said. “They had the idea for the video and contacted a professional videographer, who did the project for free.”
He said three parents in particular were a big help: Taunji Hurlbut, who took the lead on the project; Landry Pichard, the videographer; and Amy Auger, who oversaw release forms for all the students.
“They, especially, were a huge help,” Tyree said.
He said the $25,000 likely will be used to buy several new instruments, including tubas, bassoons and several percussion pieces.
“Most people have no idea how much instruments cost,” he said. “I told a friend of mine recently that a new tuba costs at least $5,000 and he almost fell over in the floor.
“This was a real big team effort and we’re so thankful.”