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JDI Donates $25,000 to Purchase Musical Instruments for Sistema Saint John




Saint John: This fall, children in the Sistema New Brunswick (NB) Saint John Centre are learning to play on brand new instruments thanks to a $25,000 donation from J.D. Irving, Limited (JDI). The contribution will purchase a timpani set for the Centre’s new percussion program plus ten cellos and four double basses for the strings program.

“The gift of music is something that will stay with you forever, so JDI is delighted to make this investment in the talent and the potential of all the young people involved in learning music through this wonderful program,” said Mary Keith, Vice President, Communications, JDI.

The Sistema NB Saint John Centre began operating in September 2011. It now serves roughly 200 students from Centennial, Hazen White Saint Francis, Millidgeville North, Prince Charles, Princess Elizabeth, and Saint John the Baptist-King Edward schools.

The students range in age from 5 to 12 years old (grades 1 – 8). Five days a week, they receive after school music instruction by 16 teaching artists for about three hours each day.

“There’s going to be a lot of beautiful music happening in Saint John and a lot of kids having opportunities that they otherwise might not have had because of the contribution of JDI, so we are very grateful," said Ken MacLeod, CEO of the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra, and Founder of Sistema NB. 

Kids have all kinds of talent, but sometimes what can be missing is the opportunity. That’s what Sistema NB is all about – providing opportunities to kids so that they can learn to play a musical instrument together within an orchestra. The students learn about orchestral music, teamwork, discipline, and respect for others. They gain confidence and self-esteem – lifelong values that can positively affect their futures.

The New Brunswick Youth Orchestra after school program engages more than 850 children daily in eight locations across the province.

For more information on Sistema NB visit