WAUNAKEE, Wis. (October 15, 2010) – When rock band “Little Saint Anything” won Launchpad, the statewide music competition for high school students in bands formed outside of school, they earned a very special honor – the chance to say “thank you” to music teacher Rebecca Winnie of Homestead High School by designating a $5,000 prize package to her school, courtesy of Yamaha Corporation of America. The Yamaha Clavinova digital piano package will be presented to Winnie during her choir concert at Homestead High School in Mequon on Monday, October 25, 7 p.m.
Launchpad, a Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) program produced by Dennis Graham Associates, celebrates the reach of music education by giving bands a platform to take what they’re learning, often through a school music teacher, and apply it in their own way. In 2010, more than 75 bands participated in Launchpad, which culminated in 12 finalist bands from four regional competitions and a wild card band making it to the state finals with Little Saint Anything ultimately winning. As part of the application process, bands were asked to identify a music teacher who has influenced their musical development. Little Saint Anything identified Rebecca Winnie, thus qualifying Homestead High School for the Yamaha school prize designated by the winning band.
“The Homestead High School Choirs are thrilled to receive a brand new Yamaha Clavinova. This digital piano has been awarded to the school as part of the prize package for the winners of the Launchpad rock-band project, Little Saint Anything! We are very proud of Little Saint Anything,” said Rebecca Winnie.
“She (Rebecca Winnie) exposed Jon and Zach to a wide variety of music styles outside of rock, such as jazz, classical and gospel, which has influenced the way that we write our music,” expressed Little Saint Anything members (Jonathan Trubshaw, Matan Koplin-Green, Zak Rickun and Zach Schley) in a statement from the band.
Along with sponsored prizes, the band received the Les Paul Award dedicated in honor of Les Paul, “Father of the Electric Guitar,” who personally supported the Launchpad program and lent his name to the award.
This year’s finalist bands also experienced a touch of fame with the opportunity to learn from acclaimed Yamaha performers and recording artists in the Launchpad Music Clinics held just hours ahead of the competition. Tom Brechtlein, drummer with Chick Corea and Wayne Shorter, led a drum clinic; Chris Poland, guitarist with Megadeth and Damn the Machine, led a guitar clinic. The artists were also part of the judging panel for the finals competition.
For more information on Launchpad, including participation details, video footage of last year’s finals competition, all supporting sponsors, late-breaking news, etc., go to www.LaunchpadWisconsin.org. Also be sure to visit www.wsmamusic.org for more about WSMA.
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Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) is a service organization with more than 1,000 member public and private schools. Each year, more than 220,000 student participants take part in WSMA activities, including District and State Music Festivals, State Honors Music Project, State Marching Band Championships, Student
Composition Project, Launchpad and Concert Festivals. WSMA, also owner and operator of the Wisconsin Center for Music Education, is governed by a board of directors made up of superintendents, principals and other officers from all over our state. WSMA believes music is a basic human need and that all children have the right to experience all that music offers them.
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