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Music Library Strikes A Chord

cocThe Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra Foundation and the College of the Canyons student orchestras have been awarded a $9,000 challenge grant from the Henry Mayo Newhall Foundation to establish a musical library on the COC Valencia campus.

The library, which is expected to house music for all levels of orchestra from beginner through young professional when established, will lend music and materials to Santa Clarita Valley area schools, youth organizations and both private and public musical ensembles.

Early plans call for the library to include a professional-quality music storage system, cataloging software, computers to maintain the collection and more than 300 individual pieces of classical music spanning all levels of performance and instruction.

"For far too long, local music students have been without a library to call their own," said Peggy Cannistraci, president of the SCVYO Foundation. "By providing students and other community organizations access to a continually updated catalog of performance music, the Foundation hopes to promote musical education to young people of all ages and ability levels."

The SCVYO Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports three student instrumental performing groups at College of the Canyons: the Prelude Strings, Intermediate Orchestra and the Symphony of the Canyons.

One of the few orchestral music programs available to youth in the Los Angeles area, the SCVYO Foundation supports the college's instrumental music education program for students eight years old and above, regardless of ability to pay.

As a condition of the grant, the SCVYO has been 'challenged' to raise an additional $9,000 in order to receive the grant money and move forward with its music library project. To help reach that goal, SCVYO leaders have been focusing their efforts on securing additional funding for the project through private donations and supplemental grants.

"Music programs at elementary schools all the way through the college level are suffering as a result of statewide budget cuts to the public education system," said Paul Sherman, director of the COC orchestras. "By creating this library, we can help improve both the quality of music instruction local students receive and the overall level at which they will perform for years to come."

The HMNF is a non-profit organization that supports charitable, cultural and agricultural programs in specific areas of California. The Foundation's purpose is to fund projects that exemplify the life and goals of Henry Mayo Newhall.

Since its inception, the HMNF has awarded grants to more than 100 organizations in communities where Mr. Newhall originally established his businesses, or where those enterprises are active today.