The Trail Alliance Church is marching to the beat of its own drum and is looking to fill the silence created by the cancellation of school music programs.
And a former high school music teacher from J. L. Crowe is rallying to help the church in its endeavour by building a band program for low-income students.
“Hockey and dance classes are too expensive for some people,” said Terry Moon, now facilities administrator at the Alliance Church.
“The programs we’re offering are going to be for everybody, but we are definitely trying to target low-income youth.”
Moon said it was hoped the program would put music back in the area’s schools for concerts, rallies, graduation ceremonies, as well as to support community events such as parades and the Music in the Park series.
“The high schools aren’t going to offer a music program anymore,” Moon said.
“But with the help of a retired high school teacher from the area, we’re hoping to teach at a level of competency so that students can receive high school credits.”
Although the teacher could not be reached to verify the release of her name, the church was eager to ramp up the programs.
But the church needs instruments to make its dream come true. Moon said they are looking for anyone with instruments around their house that they are no longer using and could consider donating to the program.
“We would also gratefully accept donations big and small to go towards instruments and equipment for our kids,” he said.
The Maple Leaf Band and SwingSations have volunteered to aid the needs of the student band program this fall with some mentoring and instruction.
The program would run twice a week after school with additional social events like a coffee house.
There will be a starter band for any who have never played an instrument before, and an intermediate band for those who already have the basic skills.
In addition to the new program, the church has secured a new building in Glenmerry. The former Kingdom Hall on Laburnum Drive has been taken over by the church and has been renamed, the AMP (the Alliance Meeting Place).
“Our desire is to provide a place where people can meet and be welcomed in,” Moon said. “Once we got the building all of these opportunities opened up.”
Moon is working closely with the church to secure the correct permits to open up a coffee shop element, in an attempt to offer “street kids” somewhere safe to go.
If you can help with the program or would like more information, contact Terry Moon at 250-368-9516.