Four Niagara public schools will be getting new additions to their music departments on Dec. 19, when country music superstar Tim Hicks and Niagara Conservatory of Music owner Greg Wierzcholski drop in to donate $15,000 worth of musical instruments.
Hicks and Wierzcholski will be joined by Santa and his elves when they present the instruments, and an unplugged group of students will perform a number of Christmas songs and pop songs for the elementary school students, with Hicks joining in.
The benefitting schools are: Oakridge Public Elementary, St. Peter Catholic Elementary and Connaught Public Elementary in St. Catharines, as well as Saint Martin Catholic Elementary in Smithville.
To date, Wierzcholski has donated more than $30,000 in musical equipment to Niagara schools and homes.
This year, with the exception of Connaught, each school will receive a classroom set of 30 ukuleles, an acoustic guitar, a cajon, and a variety of percussion instruments, as well as a number of instruments the school’s respective music teachers added to a “wish list.”
Connaught, which benefited from a “day of giving” two years ago, will be presented with a Kawai portable digital piano for their classroom.
As well as the elementary schools, three students participating in the Niagara Conservatory of Music’s Music Gives program, started in 2015 to benefit less privileged children across Niagara with music lessons, will also receive gifts of an acoustic guitar, a digital piano and a drum kit.
Some of the students participating in the program don’t have instruments of their own and have been borrowing instruments from the Conservatory.
The Conservatory donates one music lesson into the Music Gives program every time somebody registers for lessons, with approximately $7,000 in music lessons being donated each year.