What’s happening in Rainbow Schools?

Ode to an Octave: Joan Mantle Music Trust reaches $200,000

An image of a student playing the flute.
The Lasalle Senior Jazz Ensemble, including Grade 11 student Jennifer Selfe, performed during the Joan Mantle Music Trust update on October 13, 2016.

Students in Rainbow Schools continue to receive new instruments thanks to generous donations to the Joan Mantle Music Trust. The Trust has reached $200,000 in total funds raised since it was launched in the fall of 2008, as local businesses and individuals continue to make donations for the benefit of students in Rainbow Schools.

“All of our secondary schools have been allocated funds from the Trust twice,” said Rainbow District School Board Chair Doreen Dewar. “We are now in the second year of the third round of funding. What a tremendous contribution to music education and the students in Rainbow Schools.”

Chelmsford Valley District Composite School, Lasalle Secondary School and Lively District Secondary School will receive funding in the 2016-2017 school year. Barrydowne College, Lockerby Composite School, Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School and Manitoulin Secondary School received funding in 2015-2016.

“There is an ongoing need to revitalize music programs in our schools and we certainly appreciate the continued support,” said Director of Education Norm Blaseg. “Our students will reap the rewards for years to come as we continue to replenish the inventory of instruments in our secondary schools. We thank all donors.”

The money raised to date comes from individual donations, corporate contributions and special events, including $11,000 from the International Dinner and Silent Auction held last spring. Members of the community have also donated a variety of musical instruments including woodwind and brass instruments, guitars, drum sets and pianos.

A significant supporter of the Joan Mantle Music Trust has been Newcap Radio, owner of Rewind 103.9 and Hot 93.5 in Sudbury. Newcap is donating $2,858 to the Trust this year – their eighth donation as part of a multi-year commitment through their Canadian Content Development initiative.

“At Newcap Radio, we believe in giving back to the community. We also recognize the importance of music education,” said Sherri K, Assistant Program Director for The New Hot 93.5. “We welcome this opportunity to help nurture our next generation of musicians and look forward to hearing the music they create.”

The sixth International Dinner and Silent Auction in support of the Joan Mantle Music Trust will be held on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at 6 pm at the ParkSide Centre in Sudbury.

“Through the International Dinners, we have raised $53,000 in support of music education in Rainbow Schools,” said Bela Ravi, a community representative on the Trust’s Steering Committee.

She added: “This event will ensure that the Trust remains sustainable for years to come. We invite everyone to mark their calendars and join us for a wonderful evening, with foods from around the world and musical entertainment from schools around the Rainbow District School Board.”

The fourth annual Joan Mantle Music Trust Community Award will be presented at the International Dinner. The Community Award honours Joan Mantle’s positive impact on music and music education, not only within the Rainbow District School Board, but throughout the broader community.

An individual (or organization) from the community served by Rainbow District School Board who has had a significant impact on music and/or music education at the elementary, secondary, postsecondary and/or community levels may be nominated. Nominations will be accepted until January 16, 2017. For more information, including a nomination form, visit rainbowschools.ca and click on “community”.

Inaugural recipient Sylvia Carscadden, founder and director of the Kampana Bells, said that music teachers don’t always realize the tremendous impact they have on a person’s life. “I want to reinforce to teachers the great influence they have on their students,” she said. “Music teachers provided experiences and opportunities that formed my appreciation of quality and the discipline of excellence. But most importantly, they made an extra effort to share what they loved. It has had a lasting impact on my life and I am truly honoured to receive this wonderful award.”

The late Peter Schneider, a long-time educator and musical performer, was honoured with the Joan Mantle Music Trust Community Award in 2015. In accepting the posthumous tribute, Peter’s widow Lucette Schneider said music is a gift that lasts a lifetime. “Recent research has found that music uses both sides of the brain, a fact that makes it valuable in all areas of development. Music affects the growth of a child’s brain academically, emotionally, physically and spiritually,” she said. “Most people can’t play soccer or football at 70 and 80 years of age but they can sing. And they can play piano or some other instrument.”

Dr. David Buley, an Associate Professor of Music Education at Laurentian University, received the Joan Mantle Music Trust Community Award in 2016. Dr. Buley established Young Sudbury Singers in 2007, an award-winning choir for children and youth from across the Greater Sudbury area. “The making of music is never solitary: instrument makers, composers, ensemble performers, audience members, architects, and concert hall builders, our teachers, our supporters, all combine to make the spaces and places and opportunities where music is made, where we experience musicing,” said Dr. Buley. “Offering an award such as this supports all of this musicing community.”

To thank the community for its contributions, recipient schools will host community concerts that will appeal to music lovers of all ages. Several of these concerts will also feature student musicians from various Rainbow elementary schools.

The Joan Mantle Music 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.

“It is so heartwarming for the entire family to see our mother’s love of music live on in the young people who are enjoying these new instruments,” said Leslie Mantle. “We are truly grateful to all community donors who continue to make this rich legacy possible. We also appreciate the donation of instruments from those who share our love of music.”

The Joan Mantle Music Trust allocates funds to school music programs in Rainbow District School Board on a rotating basis. The Trust also accepts the donation of new and used musical instruments and allocates them to schools in need. This ensures that there is an ongoing improvement in the condition of musical equipment throughout the Board, allowing for students to achieve more in their musical studies together.

About Joan Mantle, patron of the Joan Mantle Music Trust

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

Joan was hired by the Sudbury Board of Education in 1964 to teach math and science at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School. Due to her extensive background in music, she was invited by the principal 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 recruited Joan to head the Music department. The Lasalle Secondary School bands garnered numerous awards under her leadership over the following 15 years.

Joan was then promoted to administration, where she served as Vice-Principal at Lasalle, Principal at Lo-Ellen Park and Principal at Sudbury Secondary School. In all of these schools, Joan was a tireless ambassador for music education.

During much of this time, Joan was the Director of the Ontario Music Leadership Program, 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 our community on many boards. In 2007, she was Chair of the Board of Governors at Cambrian College.

During the launch of the Trust in the fall of 2008, 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 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. Making connections between songs, language and movement encourages creativity and critical thinking. Music also improves self-esteem and confidence, and promotes teamwork and an overall appreciation of the arts.

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Media Contact:

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

A group image of students, staff and members of the community.
Thanks to the community’s generosity, Chelmsford Valley District Composite School, Lasalle Secondary School and Lively District Secondary School will receive funding from the Joan Mantle Music Trust in the 2016-2017 school year. Barrydowne College, Lockerby Composite School, Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School and Manitoulin Secondary School received funding in 2015-2016.

Representing schools and students are, back row, from left, Joan Mantle Music Trust Steering Committee Chair Ralph McIntosh; Lively District Secondary School Music Teacher Cory Ross; Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School students Abigail Hudyma and Arno Ryser; Lively District Secondary School students Cassy Walli and Keegan Beaulieu; Barrydowne College students Madeleine Nawalaniec and Aaron Thomas; and middle row, from left, Lasalle Secondary School music teachers Peter Scherzinger and Marc Savard; Lasalle Secondary School students Kate Keaney and Kyle Millar; Lockerby Composite School students Sophie Tomlin and Rudi Smith; Chelmsford Valley District Composite School students Nicholas Charron and Jessica MacNeill; Barrydowne College music teacher Stephanie Tagliabracci; Lockerby Composite School music teacher Mike Jensen; Chelmsford Valley District Composite School Principal Pamela Potvin and Rainbow District School Board Arts Education Consultant Emily Caruso Parnell.

Joining them are, front row, from left, Joan Mantle Music Trust Steering Committee member Carolyn Otto; Lasalle Secondary School Principal Maureen McNamara; Lively District Secondary School Principal Leslie Mantle, representing the Mantle Family; Rainbow District School Board Chair Doreen Dewar and Director of Education Norm Blaseg; and Newcap Radio representatives Nevena Maric and Devin McNeil of The New Hot 93.5 FM.
A donation presentation with staff from NewCap.
A significant supporter of the Joan Mantle Music Trust has been Newcap Radio, owners of Rewind 103.9 FM and Hot 93.5 in Sudbury. Newcap donated $2,858 to the Trust this year - their eighth donation as part of a multi-year commitment. From left, Joan Mantle Music Trust Steering Committee Chair Ralph McIntosh, Rainbow District School Board Chair Doreen Dewar and Director of Education Norm Blaseg thank Newcap Radio representatives Nevena Maric and Devin McNeil of The New Hot 93.5 FM.
An image of a student playing piano
Manitoulin Secondary School received funding through the Joan Mantle Music Trust in 2015-2016. Rebecca MacDonald showcases a new keyboard.
An image of a student and a teacher holding instruments
Manitoulin Secondary School students Jordan Moore, left, and Isaac Gosse display new instruments purchased through the Joan Mantle Music Trust in 2015-2016.