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N. Colonie Friends of Music seeks to raise funds for the school's music program

The N. Colonie School District has a group set out on a mission to raise money to bring the school new instruments

As schools are suffering from lack of funding and are looking to cut certain programs in order to balance their budgets, a group of North Colonie School District parents and teachers are trying to raise money to bring musical instruments to the school district through a different means.

The North Colonie Friends of Music has been accepted as a candidate to receive $50,000 through the Pepsi Refresh Project where people can vote on their favorite idea to win the money. The top ten ideas will receive the funding.

Bill Edwards, treasurer of the group and a Certified Public Accountant, said the group was asked a few years ago to raise money to purchase two Steinway pianos for the junior high school and the high school. The group thought of different ways to raise funds through individual donations, holding fundraising concerts such as one with the Five Browns, which is a group of five siblings from Utah who all play piano, and seeking money though various grants.

We hoped to raise money through applying for various grants but it was more or less bad timing, Edwards remarked on the state of the economy. "Grants just aren't out there at this time."

Other than the two pianos, the group is looking to purchase kettle drums for the high school and smaller instruments such as flutes, trumpets or violins for the elementary schools.

After hearing about other organizations such as the Cohoes Music Hall and the Woodside Bible Church in Troy winning grants from the project, Edwards decided to give the competition a shot after a brainstorming session during one of their group meetings.

"We first tried submitting the application back in April," he said, "but they only accept the first 1,000 submitted. Then we attempted again in May but we were shut out in seconds. I can't believe how quickly they reach the maximum.

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