Grant sends band to NRHEG school

Published 12:09 pm Thursday, October 17, 2013

ELLENDALE — New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva Elementary School has received a $2,000 Artist in Education grant that will fund a one-day residency of the Copper Street Brass Quintet.

Director of Bands Frank Whitcomb said he applied for the grant through the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council. Whitcomb said there are several grants available through the council. The regional council receives funding through the Minnesota State Arts Council, which oversees millions in grant funds from the Minnesota Legislature.

“We applied for the maximum amount, and we received the full $2,000,” Whitcomb said.

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The one-day residency will be on April 17, 2014. The Copper Street Brass Quintet will meet with fourth- and fifth-graders and present what Whitcomb called a “brass instrument petting zoo” so students can see instruments up close.

“The goal is to involve more and more students into our bands,” Whitcomb said.

Whitcomb said he feels NRHEG has a vibrant band program, but he wants to try to interest all students in the arts.

“Artistic expression isn’t necessarily instant and quick,” Whitcomb said. “I want to involve our kids in artistic processes — it builds their character, helps them go beyond quick and easy activities to something they can be involved in all their life that challenges them and helps them grow.”

The other part of the one-day residency will be a concert that will be free and open to the public. It will likely be at the end of the school day around 2 p.m., but an official time will be announced closer to the date.

“The quintet is very entertaining,” Whitcomb said. “They do all sorts of different styles of music.”

Whitcomb directs the fifth grade, sixth grade, seventh and eighth, and ninth through 12th grade bands in the NRHEG district.