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Holy Name of Jesus Academy looking for music room donations


MASSENA - Students at Holy Name of Jesus Academy, Massena, held a special Spring Recital concert on Friday.

In addition to showcasing their vocal and instrumental talents, they were looking for sponsors who could financially contribute to a project that will consolidate the school’s nine pianos in one central music practice room at the Trippany Road school, which formerly housed Twin Rivers Elementary School.

The pianos are currently located in classrooms throughout the school, which makes it difficult for students to schedule themselves for a practice session, according to Sister Mary of the Cross, a ninth-grade teacher at the school.

“We have a lot of pianos scattered throughout,” she said, which “conflicts with the use of the classrooms.”

That was the message students shared during their concert. It featured vocal or instrumental performances by students from all classes and included violin, flute, piano and the student choirs. The high school students’ choir performed selections from their recently recorded CD, “Over the Meadows,” which is also being used as a fundraiser, along with a raffle with cash prizes up to $1,000.

The junior and senior choir meet twice a week, and students have piano, flute and violin lessons with private tutors outside the class.

“The joy of making music is sometimes frustrating for lack of space,” one student said.

Some work has already been done on a consolidated music area, but financial contributions are needed to make it a reality.

The area will feature nine private piano rooms, and school officials are looking for sponsors who can donate $5,000 to “buy” one room. The sponsor’s name will be engraved on a plaque that will be affixed to the door of the room they’ve “bought.”

“The benefactor can be assured every penny will be put to good use,” a student told the audience during the concert.

“We hope this will allow them to practice without disturbing others,” Sister Mary said.

This is the school’s sixth year in Massena - their first 12th-graders will be graduating in June - and the Dominican Sisters have made a number of improvements to the building over those years, she said, including painting, tiling, laying tubing and varnishing.

“There have been so many improvements made to the school. Whatever they can do for themselves, they do,” one of the students said during the concert.

But there is more work to be done - including the music rooms.

“We’ve got quite a few projects underway,” Sister Mary said.

Among their other planned projects are a new chapel for the sisters and school girls. The school, which houses pre-kindergarten through grade 12, currently has 150 girls enrolled. About 50 of them are day students, meaning they make the trip to the school every day from areas like Potsdam and Nicholville. Others reside in a dormitory behind the school building.

“We are full. We could probably take more day students,” but the housing is full, she said.

Accommodating the students and visitors in the chapel is becoming difficult, according to Sister Mary.

“(The chapel) is now too small for us,” she said.

A replay of the Spring Recital with guest soloist Nadine Cunningham will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday for those who would like to come.

For more information about the fundraiser, call the school at 769-6030.

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