I wrote this letter a few months ago for the Humber College Community Music School. Please read!
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To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Chris Donnelly. I am a recent Juno nominee, national jazz award nominee and an instructor at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music. I am also an alumnus of the Humber College Community Music School where I studied from age three to eighteen. It is a pleasure to be writing this letter of endorsement for the HCCMS.
The Humber College Community Music School was an enormous contributor to my childhood education. I significantly benefited from its solid methodology in jazz education and I largely credit my success as an artist in Canada to my experience there. But I mention ‘childhood education’ because its curriculum offered me more than an opportunity for building musical skills.
HCCMS is truly a school for the community. Not only did I meet other students but I also played music with them. Once a week, we gathered around a shared interest where we learned, interacted and created music together. In later years, we formed our own ensembles, experimented, collaborated and brought our music out to the broader community, all while still in high school! It was the highlight of my week and one of the highlights of my childhood.
I was extremely fortunate to be a student at HCCMS during its infancy years, but there are countless others who wished they had access to this one-of-a-kind opportunity. A correlation between individual learning and community involvement is extremely rare in music education, but absolutely imperative for jazz education. HCCMS has achieved an impeccable balance between the two and has laid the foundation for jazz education to grow nationally and internationally. My future hopes for HCCMS are threefold: first, that it can offer more opportunities for future generations; second, that it can expand its influence in the community; and third, that it continue to be a world leader in jazz education.