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L to R:  Elizabeth Palermo, SONG Development Coordinator; Barb Henderson, SONG President; Marie Anderson, SONG Artistic Director; Heather Norris, Northumberland United Way CEO

More SONG students will receive more advanced music instruction and tutorials to deepen their learning and social development thanks to a Northumberland United Way New Initiative Grant.

When SONG students expressed the desire to learn more, we responded with a resounding yes by hiring a second strings instructor.  The String Chamber Ensemble Initiative is part of SONG’s long-term plan to build a youth orchestra for children who otherwise wouldn’t have access to music lessons and the means to audition for such a group. By bridging the gap between poverty and privilege, every child can experience being an asset in their community.

“Strings are a challenge to learn and yield many life lessons,” says SONG strings director Deborah Henderson. “Learning must happen in small steps with commitment and perseverance, and reward comes with time. Students learn to support one another and bring leadership and communication skills to the choral program.”

SONG is wholly funded by individual donors, businesses, services clubs, municipal government—and now with Northumberland United Way’s $2,500 grant.

“At Northumberland United Way we know that a small infusion of capital can have a significant local impact, and we are proud to support SONG in launching a String Chamber Ensemble Initiative,” says CEO Heather Norris. “It takes perseverance to master string instruments and we know that the skills developed along the way will support future success.”

Since 2013, nearly 250 students have thrived in SONG, learning life skills in social engagement, inclusiveness, leadership and the pursuit of excellence. Thank you, Northumberland United Way!