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Votes Needed for ‘Gift of Music’ Grant

Pictured are members of Taylor Middle School’s group, Ninth Harmony Ensemble, which is comprised of nine eighth-grade musicians playing violins and cellos.
Pictured are members of Taylor Middle School’s group, Ninth Harmony Ensemble, which is comprised of nine eighth-grade musicians playing violins and cellos.
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Still in the holiday spirit? Well, two North Valley middle schools need a little bit of leftover holiday cheer.

Taylor and Taft schools are among four New Mexico schools competing for a national “Gift of Music” prize that would net the winning school a $15,000 music grant.

Schools from 30 states submitted a holiday music video, which are online at www.rackroomshoes.com. In the middle of the page is a boxed link to the Gift of Music video contest with all the entries listed by state.

Under the pull-down tab, New Mexico, the videos for Taylor and Taft, along with entries from La Cueva and Highland high schools, are listed.

Viewers can then vote for a video, once a day through the end of the contest Jan. 11.

“We’re a little school, so we need as much help as we can get,” said Maria Stefanova, Taylor orchestra director.

Before the Christmas break, word went out from the Albuquerque Public Schools fine arts department about the contest, she said.

“They were very excited,” Stefanova said of the participating students. “So we’re hoping to get as many votes as possible so they’re not disappointed.”

Taylor’s group, called Ninth Harmony Ensemble, is comprised of nine eighth-grade musicians playing violins and cellos. The group played a medley of “Jingle Bells” and “Up on the Rooftop.”

“It was fun,” said violinist Aida Olivas. “I thought it would be very cool. It was a good idea to participate in the contest.”

A parent with some video-making experience produced the entry, Stefanova said.

The Taft entry includes 18 musicians on a variety of instruments also playing “Jingle Bells.”

Since the competition is nationwide, Olivas knows it’s not going to be easy to win, but that hasn’t stopped her from asking all her friends and relatives to vote.

“I’ve been voting every day,” she said.

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