Colchester-Milton Rotary, Friends of Colchester Music purchase piano for CHS music program
It was a festive night at Colchester High School on December 17 for the band and choral program’s annual winter jubilee concert, but the mood became even brighter when members of the Colchester-Milton Rotary and Friends of Colchester Music (FCM) came to the stage to make a special announcement.
FCM, a volunteer booster group that supports music programs in the Colchester School District, joined forces with the Colchester-Milton Rotary to fulfill a donation request from CHS Choral Director Melissa Towle for a Yamaha Clavinova piano for the school’s music room. At the December concert, FCM President Marie Bouffard, Rotary’s Past President Leora Black, and Rotary’s Chair of Allocations Kent Booraem, presented Melissa Towle two checks for $2,000 each to allow her to purchase the piano.
Some of the CHS choral students and Choral Director Melissa Towle (sitting) stand around the school’s new Yamaha Clavinova Piano purchased from Contois School of Music through donations from Friends of Colchester Music and the Colchester-Milton Rotary.
“The Colchester-Milton Rotary Club has a history of supporting music in the community. In 2011, the Rotary donated $1,000 to the Friends of Colchester Music to support a program at Malletts Bay School. In the past year, the organization has also made donations to the Colchester Community Chorus and Band,” said Leora Black, past president of the Colchester-Milton Rotary. “We believe music makes a difference in the lives of students and community members.”
According to Mrs. Towle, the 20-plus year old piano is the “workhorse of the CHS music department.” It gets daily use by the school’s 110 choral students (CHS has the largest high school choral program in Chittenden County); and, it’s used by the band and drama programs. The piano has been rebuilt once and was in need of major repairs.
The $4,000 price tag for the new piano put a replacement instrument out of reach for Towle’s already stretched music budget, much of which goes toward the purchase of sheet music for the school’s annual choral performances.
From left: Friends of Colchester Music President Marie Bouffard, Rotary Past President Leora Black, and Rotary Chair of Allocations Kent Booraem present checks to CHS Choral Director Melissa Towle for the purchase of a new Yamaha Clavinova piano for the CHS music program.
“We were thrilled that the Colchester-Milton Rotary was able to provide $2,000 to help purchase the piano,” said FCM President Marie Bouffard. “FCM is a small booster group, but we are fortunate to have great support from CSD families as well as the Colchester community…their support helped make our matching donation possible.”
“What a wonderful gift,” said Towle. “This piano means so much to the students and to our entire music program…We feel so very lucky to have such a supportive community.”
A brand new Yamaha Clavinova piano sells for nearly $6,000, but Towle received a quote on a floor model for $4,000 from Contois School of Music in Essex Junction.