Grant takes Holy Trinity music program to next level

Photos by Kayla Renie/The Herald
Holy Trinity Catholic School sixth-grader Aiden Persohn, center, plays the drums with his classmates during music class at the schoolÕs East Campus in Jasper on Wednesday. Holy Trinity received a grant for new instruments, allowing the students to learn through more hands-on activities.

By LEANN BURKE
lburke@dcherald.com

JASPER — A sound like bells filled the music classroom at Holy Trinity Catholic School’s East Campus Wednesday afternoon as third grade students learned a new song on an orchestra of barred instruments.

The instruments — which included wooden xylophones, metallophones and metal glockenspiels — are part of an addition to the classroom made possible by $21,700 in grant funds awarded to the school’s music program by the United Cabinet Foundation. The funds also purchased Remo tubanos drums, a set of conga drums, a set of wind chimes, a set of temple blocks, a Breedlove guitar, a four-octave set of tone chimes, a set of Basic Beat hand drums, a 30-piece set of rhythm band instruments and several educational resources.

Students in third through eighth grade use the instruments daily in music classes.

Holy Trinity music teacher Ann Nagy sought the grant to offer more variety to her students and to engage them more fully in the music lessons.

“I was looking for a way the kids could connect their music to the community and to real life,” she said.

Students from the East Campus perform live music shows at Brookside Village, as well as at weekly masses, a Grandparents’ Day concert and two concerts at the Jasper Community Arts Center. The new instruments are mobile enough to be used during those performances.

In the classroom, the instruments feed the students’ creativity and teach them teamwork. On Wednesday, the third grade students listened to the sound of their classmates playing in an effort to keep a consistent beat while playing a song titled “Firefly, Firefly.” The class split into three sections, each playing a separate part of the song.

Holy Trinity Catholic School sixth-grader Cohen Gunselman plays the chimes during music class at the school in Jasper on Wednesday.

“Somebody’s speeding up,” Nagy called over the tinkling of the instruments. “Listen!”

The new instruments have made music class much more fun than when most of the time was spent on worksheets and keyboards, the students said. Now, the students get to play lots of different instruments each day.

“They make some cool noises,” third-grader Noah Eyler said.

Ally Wagner liked the variety in the instruments and the fact that the students now get to play a different instrument and a different song every time they come to class.

After the third-graders, sixth-graders filed into Nagy’s classroom, eager to take their turn on the new instruments.

“Everyone is more motivated to participate in class,” sixth-grader Kyle Woehler said. “It’s more fun.”

This isn’t the first time the community has stepped up to help Holy Trinity’s music program. When Nagy has requested instruments in the past, parents have been quick to fill the need.

“When I let people know of our need for instruments, several of our school families donated instruments,” Nagy said. “When we needed a portable microphone speaker for our Brookside concerts, two parents donated one to our youth choir.”

Nagy describes the community involvement as “an answer to prayers,” and she is especially grateful to the United Cabinet Foundation, to the late Stan and Mary Jane Krempp — who founded the United Cabinet Foundation — and to the Krempp family for the grand funds. The funds will help Nagy reach her goal of ensuring her students leave Holy Trinity with a love for music that follows them throughout their lives.

“I think it’s important they like music,” she said. “I’m still playing music because my teacher got me to love it.”

Holy Trinity Catholic School third-graders Sam Tolbert, left, Natalie Rolwing and Kylie Hopf play the xylophone during music class at the school in Jasper on Wednesday.



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