June 25th, 2019
CTF funds 17-unit keyboard lab at Garrett College
Lab to provide flexible strategy for growing piano program
The Community Trust Foundation, in conjunction with CTF’s Naylor Family Trust Fund, has provided a $29,000 gift to create a 17-unit keyboard lab for Garrett College’s growing piano instruction program.
"CTF works with its donors to support the projects that align with their charitable interests," said CTF Director Leah Shaffer of the gift, given through the Garrett College Foundation. "These donors [Naylor Family Trust Fund] are passionate about providing educational opportunities in the Appalachian region, and this project leaves an indelible mark in their legacy of giving."
The lab, located on GC’s main campus in McHenry, is already operational and being used in the College’s summer music program. It will accommodate up to 16 students per class, with one keyboard designated for the instructor. When the lab is complete – a control system that was special-ordered will arrive later this summer – the instructor will be able to control the system from the lead keyboard, or through the iPad-controlled Wi-Fi system, allowing the instructor to move freely around the classroom.
Pictured from left to right are: Dr. Sean Beachy, GC’s adjunct instructor of music and instructor of piano and composition; Kathy Getty, the Community Trust Foundation Board of Trustees’ vice president; and Dr. Richard Midcap, GC’s president.
"This new piano lab will really open up more options for music instruction through Garrett College," stated Dr. Sean Beachy, adjunct instructor of music and instructor of piano and composition through GC’s Continuing Education and Workforce Division.
Dr. Beachy said flexibility is one of the many strengths of the lab set-up. Through a system of headphones, the instructor can listen to and communicate with individual students, a small group of students, or the entire class. In addition, the lab can simulate private practice rooms for each student.
"This is a perfect example of CTF’s vision in action: connecting philanthropy for community good," said Shaffer. "This project, in particular, provides a unique experience for music students that isn’t currently available, an opportunity for expanded Fine Arts curriculum, and the potential for collaboration with other highly regarded institutions in the future. It’s a win all the way around for our region."
"One of my initial goals for the lab is to offer a new piano component for the Mountain Maryland Music Institute, a summer camp program offered annually at the college," said Dr. Beachy. "The piano lab will give summer camp students an opportunity to practice, as well as meet with instructors on a one-on-one basis using Wi-Fi technology.
"There is also potential to offer new group piano instruction for the community, allowing a flexible option for students of all ages seeking the opportunity to play the piano," added Dr. Beachy.
CTF – the community foundation serving Allegany, Garrett and Mineral counties – has granted out over $5 million in local philanthropic resources to support local organizations working to build a stronger community over the past 10 years. The foundation focuses in the areas of arts and historical preservation, health and wellness, vibrant communities and thriving environment, and education and youth leadership.
"CTF and the Naylor Family Trust Fund have been sources of both regular and generous gifts to Garrett College," said Dr. Richard Midcap, Garrett College’s president. "We appreciate our relationship with both organizations, and we’re excited about what this project will mean for our music community."
While the piano lab currently resides in the 300 Building on the McHenry Campus, long-term plans are to relocate it to the Community Education and Performing Arts Center (CEPAC). The CEPAC is currently in design phase, with final approval of the project pending completion of a Memorandum of Understanding between the county and the College that is currently being drafted.
"This would certainly be a wonderful component for a state-of-the-art performing arts center," said Dr. Midcap.