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Belton music program receives $40,000 grant to continue support for music lovers of all-ages

“This grant allows us to provide music to children and youth in the Central Texas community who might otherwise never have these enriching experiences."

BELTON, Texas — Music will play on at The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Conservatory of Music with the support of a new $40,000 grant, according to UMHB officials. 

In a news release, UMBH officials say they recently received the grant from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.

Past grants from the foundation have made it possible for many students to participate in the program through scholarships and strategic funding initiatives, say UMHB officials. 

 “This grant allows us to provide music to children and youth in the Central Texas community who might otherwise never have these enriching experiences,” explained Dr. Jonathan Gary, director of UMHB’s Conservatory of Music and department of music chairperson. “We are grateful to the Carpenter Foundation for its long-standing support of our public service programs.” 

UMHB officials state that the UMHB Conservatory of Music program offers classes for its students from the their music faculty. From scholarships for musical instruction to free music lessons for children in local daycare centers to preschool, elementary and secondary students; music is made available for children of all-ages. 

The success of these programs has led to the expansion of several programs this year, including opportunities for additional students. 

UMHB was able to begin a faith-based early childhood music program called “Teeny Tykes and Tunes” and will offer a middle school show choir this spring due to the additional funding, say UMHB officials. 

UMHB's Conservatory of music also prepares secondary students for various Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) and Texas Choral Directors Association (TCDA) choirs, which would not be possible without the Carpenter Foundation grant.

“TMEA and TCDA provide opportunities for students to excel in choral music in the form of honor choirs, both at a regional level and a state level. This opportunity provides students with a chance to experience challenging repertoire to work on their musicianship skills,” said Deborah Barrick, TMEA and TCDA audition coach. “When learning the music with me, the students learn how to become more musical and accurate with their singing. It builds confidence and work ethic in all of my students. I feel the experience students get while learning music for these auditioned choirs teaches them skills they will use in all aspects of life as they mature.”