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Today, The Choir School of Newport County today announced the continuation of its program that begun in 2018 to help bring free and accessible piano lessons to kids all over Newport County, entering grades 3 or 4, who are eligible for free/reduced-priced lunch.

Lessons will be at St. John’s Church on the Point on Mondays. All materials are provided for free. Along with on site practice, participants are also loaned an 88 weighted-key Yamaha piano for home practice. CD player, transportation, and snacks will also be provided if needed. This program wouldn’t be possible without grants from the Rhode Island Foundation, RISCA, and the Karen House Memorial Fund.

This activity is made possible in part by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Applications are received now through August 5, with early enrollment encouraged; there are ten Monday slots filled in order of a successful family interview and application form. Students are also encouraged to enroll in a free mini-camp weekend, July 24-25, to try out the choir school experience, with singing, crafts, games, sports, lunch both days, and a performance. 

The piano lesson program requires students to enroll in The Choir School’s Professional Choristers program, for which they are paid a stipend based on attendance. Rehearsals are Tuesdays or Wednesdays from 4:15 to 5:45 pm. Once a month, rehearsal is Thursday evening with a dinner provided. The Choir School of Newport County does not discriminate on the basis of race, income, national origin, religious affiliation, or any other factor in determining admission to its programs. Children from all of Newport County are eligible. The Choir School is not a religious school, although students do sing in churches as well as around the community. The School is a tuition-blind independent 501(c)3 organization governed by a Board of Directors; Marvin Abney and Nicholas Brown are its co-chairs. The School’s mission is to create lives of Character and Service through the joy of music, and to show children where a love of music can take them. Students trained, traveled and performed for two weeks in England in 2018. Future trips are a weekend in New York City in October 2022, and a two week tour exploring the land, music, art and culture of Argentina and Uruguay in August 2023.

To apply, contact Nikki Vazquez, Piano Program Coordinator, at nikki@thechoirschoolri.com or (401) 339-0243.

Ryan M. Belmore

Ryan M. Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.