What’s happening in Rainbow Schools?

New instruments received from donations to the Joan Mantle Music Trust

Students in Rainbow Schools unpacked new instruments made possible thanks to generous donations to the Joan Mantle Music Trust. Representing the schools who received donations from the trust are, from left, Kelsie Charbonneau and Carter Smith from Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School, Shane Wilkinson and Stacy Smith from MacLeod Public School, and Mark Mancini and Krista Aelick from Lockerby Composite School.

The school year began on a high note for students in Rainbow Schools who received new instruments thanks to generous donations to the Joan Mantle Music Trust. Launched last fall, the Trust honours Joan Mantle, a long-time educator who made an immense contribution to music education locally. Joan Mantle passed away on June 9, 2009, after a courageous battle with cancer.

“We are pleased to announce that, to date, $50,000 has been raised for the Joan Mantle Music Trust,” said Rainbow District School Board Chair Judy Hunda. “This is an impressive contribution to music education.” She added: “We extend our sincere thanks to everyone who supported the Joan Mantle Music Trust, enabling us to revitalize music programs in our schools. As the trust continues to grow, other Rainbow schools will reap the rewards of Sudbury’s generosity.”

Students from schools who benefited from the trust unpacked instruments today, as members of the Mantle family proudly looked on. "It is so heartwarming for us to see students with shiny new instruments made possible by the community’s generous contributions to the Joan Mantle Music Trust," said Ross Mantle. "Our mother’s legacy will live on thanks to the trust that honours her memory and we are truly grateful.”

Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School, which spearheaded the creation of the Joan Mantle Music Trust, was the first to benefit. Joan Mantle was the founding music teacher at the school some 40 years ago. The school has purchased a bass clarinet, two trumpets, a trombone, a baritone, a percussion cabinet and 25 music stands. Lo-Ellen also received a trumpet and a trombone that were donated directly to the school.

Lockerby Composite School and MacLeod Public School were the second and third schools to benefit from the trust. Lockerby has purchased an oboe, two clarinets, two tenor saxophones, a valve trombone, a euphonium and a timpani. MacLeod Public School has purchased a flute, an alto sax and a tuba.

The Joan Mantle Music Trust will allocate funds to school music programs in Rainbow District School Board, one school at a time.  This will ensure that there is a tangible improvement in the condition of equipment in an entire department, allowing for students to achieve more in their musical studies together. Lasalle Secondary School and Sudbury Secondary School will benefit from the Trust this year.

In order to thank the community for its contributions, Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School, Lockerby Composite School and MacLeod Public School will host a community concert on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009 at 7 pm. Featuring concert bands and jazz combos, the concert will appeal to music lovers of all ages. Everyone is invited to mark their calendars and plan to attend. All proceeds will benefit the Joan Mantle Music Trust.

Also in support of the Trust, Rainbow District School Board will host a Christmas Carol Reading at Sudbury Secondary School on Sunday, December 13, 2009 at 7 pm. The reading will feature community celebrities, including Greater Sudbury Police Chief Frank Elsner and CBC Radio Morning North Host Markus Schwabe. There will also be performances by music students from Rainbow Schools. More details will be announced this fall.

“Quality instruments make better music,” said Ralph McIntosh, Rainbow District School Board’s Arts Education Co-ordinator. “Our school year has definitely begun on a high note thanks to the community’s generous support of the Joan Mantle Music Trust.”

During the launch of the Trust last fall, Joan Mantle picked up the baton and directed the Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School Senior Jazz Band to the delight of those in attendance. “Music education benefits students in many ways,” she said at the time. “Music is a universal language that enriches the mind and nourishes the spirit. When students gain an appreciation of music and learn practical skills, they discover a source of enjoyment and personal satisfaction that will last a lifetime.”

About Joan Mantle

Joan Mantle dedicated many years to music education in Rainbow Schools. 

When she joined the Sudbury Board of Education in 1964 to teach math and science at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School, Principal Bruce Elliot, who was aware of her extensive background in music, invited her to establish a music program at the school. She gladly accepted and planted the seeds for what continues to be a hallmark of education at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School.

Two years later, Lasalle Secondary School came calling and recruited Joan to head the Music Department. She taught music at Lasalle Secondary School for 15 successful years. The bands under her stewardship garnered numerous awards.

In 1981, Joan was named Vice-Principal of Lasalle Secondary School, where music continued to flourish. She returned to Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School as Principal in 1985, where she remained for seven years.  Joan then became Principal of Sudbury Secondary School where she was an ambassador par excellence for the Performing Arts Program.
During much of this time, Joan was the Director of the Ontario Music Leadership Program held annually at Lake Couchiching. She also served as Director and Chair of the Ontario Secondary School Principals’ Association and played a key role in the formation of the Ontario Principals’ Council.  Joan spent the last six years of her career as Superintendent of Education for the Rainbow District School Board.

After retiring in 2003, Joan continued to serve the community on many boards. In 2007, she was Chair of the Board of Governors at Cambrian College.

Joan Mantle passed away on June 9, 2009, after a courageous battle with cancer.

About Music Education in Rainbow Schools

The Rainbow District School Board provides students with opportunities to increase their musical literacy and develop their creative and critical thinking skills by engaging them in activities that lead them to learn in, about and through music. Musical literacy is the ability to read, write, create and perform music, as well as analyze, interpret and appreciate music from a variety of cultures and historical periods.

Learning in, about and through music is part of a well-rounded education that reinforces academic skills and nurtures life skills. Learning songs and rhythms develops literacy skills. Connecting songs, language and movement increases thinking. Music improves self-esteem and confidence and promotes teamwork and an overall appreciation of the arts.


Media Contact:

Nicole Charette, Senior Advisor,
Corporate Communications and Strategic Planning,
Rainbow District School Board, 705.674.3171, ext. 7217.