City-Wide Drumline snares $22k grant for instruments

Friday, March 26, 2010 | 2:27 p.m. CDT; updated 3:48 p.m. CDT, Friday, March 26, 2010

COLUMBIA — The instruments for Columbia's City-Wide Drumline are looking fresher thanks to a grant from the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation.

Glen Ward, director of the drumline, applied for the grant through the foundation's special projects department. Cameron Cross, recreation supervisor for the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department, said it's especially hard to find money for programs during this poor economy.

"We have to look for alternative ways of funding," Cross said.

But their search was answered when they were chosen for a $22,000 grant. A national nonprofit, the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation promotes young musicians through instrument donation and specializes in programs for at-risk adolescents.

Tricia Steel, programs director for the foundation, said programs that get a unanimous "Yes" across the board are likely to receive funding of some kind. The number of programs selected varies.

"We look at strong applicants and programs that are really changing the lives of young people," Steel said.

She added that these types of music programs are crucial for young adults in order to nurture self-esteem and provide a sense of community.

"It's beyond providing a music lesson, it's an after-school family," Steel said. "It's more than just learning the notes."

According to a news release from Columbia Parks and Recreation, enough equipment was donated to supply a drumline of 14 people. The department hopes the drumline will expand in the future.

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