The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Northampton Arts Council's Musical Instrument Grant Awarded to NHS Graduate Caleb Schmale

The NAC’s Musical Instrument Grant was established to provide support to Northampton’s most promising young musicians. The NAC’s Musical Instrument Grant selects one high school student in Northampton, based on teacher recommendations, and provides that student funds to purchase a professional level instrument. The selection process is based on musical accomplishment, as well as financial need.

The price of a quality education is on the rise, with total costs topping $30,000 a year, on average. For young people heading to music school, these costs can be increased by as much as $5,000 when figuring in the cost of an instrument of high enough quality for music schools and conservatories. For these students, a quality instrument isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. Finding the right instrument, one with the sound, sensitivity, and complexity that a budding young musician needs, is essential to any student’s musical growth.

This year the Northampton Arts Council awarded a grant for $5,228,69 to Caleb Schmale, a recent graduate of Northampton High School. He used the grant funds to purchase a Vintage Selmer Mark VI Tenor Saxophone. Caleb was nominated by Northampton High School music teacher Paul Kinsman. Paul nominated Caleb after having seen a tremendous amount of musical growth in a remarkably short time. Caleb started playing the saxophone in the 9th grade and four years later he has been accepted to one of the world’s best music schools. He has become a historian of Jazz, a film scorer for an award winning film, and has searched out top tier mentors and performance opportunities by himself. He is truly an artist on a mission.

------A message from Caleb-------

My name is Caleb Schmale and I am an 18 year old saxophonist and composer who recently graduated from Northampton High School. I have had a strong relationship with music ever since I had first laid eyes on a guitarist playing for an 8 year old version of myself. My parents saw my interest and were supportive enough to buy me my first instrument, a guitar. Although the places and experiences that music ended up showing me led me to a very different place than where I had started, I have never felt like I had lost touch with any genre of music no matter what my interests were at the time. I am now enrolled to study music at New England Conservatory in the fall, mainly focusing on saxophone and piano. I have helped compose the score to an award winning documentary called “Four Winters” winning second place in the Jewish film festival. As the music that I study begins to demand more from me and become more complicated, the technique behind your instrument becomes incredibly important as you can develop injuries if you are not cautious. This opportunity that I am grateful to have been selected for will help me upgrade my current old horn to a more modern Selmer brand saxophone that will help me through all of my college years and last me a lifetime. Thank you again for helping my education become as valuable as it can be.



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