CORNWALL, Ontario - A new program at a rural high school in Glengarry is bringing students with a love of music one step closer to their high school diploma.
It's called "Band for Credit" - and the after-school collaboration between a little more than a dozen students and music teacher Rob Goodbun is filling the hallways at Char-Lan District High School with music, and the kids with pride.
"Oh god, they love it," said Goodbun, just minutes before his students jumped in with saxophones, flutes, a piano and the like for another rehearsal. "They are really passionate about music, and they're having a lot of fun playing it."
The students play for about two-and-a-half hours a week, meeting on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons following the last bell of the day.
Char-Lan vice-principal Jennifer MacLachlan said in an interview the program, which is run by T.R. Leger School, is open to any student from grades 7 to 12. Right now all of the students are in Grade 8, and upon completion of the program they will play a concert and also receive a high school credit.
"Anybody can do it," said MacLachlan - adding even students from other schools will be welcome when the program begins again in the fall.
Goodbun said the plan then is to spread the program over two semesters, because one is proving to be a steep challenge for the students.
"It's a lot to do - two-and-a-half hours a week," he said. "But they are looking forward to the opportunity of performing.
"They would probably do it anyway, but they are getting credit for it - and they should. They are working really hard."
For more information about the program, contact Char-Lan at 613-347-2441.