Sheepdogs Support a Rockin’ Education at DSBN Schools

Although having Juno Award winning artists playing in your school’s gym is a “once in a lifetime opportunity,” that’s not why DSBN Academy student Zana Borland was so thrilled to see the Sheepdogs.

The Grade 6 student was really impressed with their message. “I loved that they said learning music can make you smarter,” said Borland.

“I think everyone needs to hear that.”

On Thursday, May 21, Ewan and Shamus Currie from the iconic Canadian band performed at the Academy to celebrate the school’s recently announced grant from MusiCounts, Canada’s music education charity. After an application from Academy staff and students, the charity awarded the school $10,000 to purchase new instruments.

Talking about the importance of music, Ewan Currie told students that he’d always been involved with music. “It’s my favourite thing in the whole world,” he said.

“Whether music becomes a job or a really awesome pastime or hobby, it’s a pathway that leads you to a lot of enjoyment,” said Ewan.

Academy teacher Isaac Hannigan echoed Currie’s thoughts. “I believe music can make a difference in people’s lives. It’s a beautiful language that can be attained by all.”

Hannigan also thanked MusiCounts for its generous grant, which will help give more students the ability to learn this new language. “For a variety of reasons, many of our students don’t have the ability to access private music lessons. Now, with the new instruments purchased through this grant, our school can give students the opportunity to learn, experience and truly appreciate everything that music can bring into one’s life,” said Hannigan.

Money for the grants was raised through the Hockey Night in St. Catharines event and supported by Music Canada and Partridge Wealth Management.

Before stopping to chat, sign autographs and take selfies with Academy students, Ewan and Shamus were joined by Allan Reid, CEO of MusiCounts, St. Catharines MP Rick Dysktra and Peter Partridge Jr. from Partridge Wealth Management to unveil the instruments purchased for the music program.

Ewan Currie posed with one of the clarinets purchased, which he jokingly referred to as “the most manly of instruments.” Although, he admitted he does play clarinet and rather well. Ewan even had the opportunity to play clarinet on a few Sheepdog songs.

Westlane Secondary also received a financial grant to add to its music program. There were also a number of Westlane students who made the trip from Niagara Falls to see the Sheepdogs and celebrate news of the financial support.

To see photos and video of the event, visit the DSBN Facebook page at www.facebook.com/dsbniagara.