Pulling strings: From left, Turn Up The Music Charitable Trust chair Craig Robins, GM Tiffany Bindon, patron Mark Wilson, founder Jillian Jardine and music school director Emma Wilson

A charitable trust providing vital financial support for Whakatipu kids’ music lessons is striking a chord more than ever.

At a recent function celebrating Turn Up The Music Charitable Trust’s fifth anniversary, chair Craig Robins said they’re supporting 66 families with subsidies this year, compared to 46 last year.

And they’ve just had their highest number of subsidy applications — 42 — this term.

Founded by music teachers Emma Wilson and Alison Price, Turn Up The Music (TUTM) is an outgrowth of the Lakes Community Music School, which they set up about 10 years ago.

TUTM has had 330 children through its programmes this year, up from 250 last year.

In his speech, Robins said the trust’s a different beast from when it began in 2018.

Before arts and cultural hub Te Atamira was established, which TUTM nowadays operates from, ‘‘we were tasked with the job of trying to find venues for music lessons, trying to find teachers, transporting instruments from one place to another’’.

Oozing talent: Performers at the recent fifth anniversary function, at supporters Sharyn and Grant Stalker’s home, included violinist Elton Leatherbarrow, 10, and trombonist Mathew Wright,12

Since Te Atamira came along last year, ‘‘we’ve been able to refocus on our core, which is really about supporting music lessons and providing subsidies for hard-working Whakatipu families who perhaps can’t afford to support their kids with music lessons in these challenging times’’.

‘‘We’ve been able to reduce our administration costs and slim it down.

‘‘In effect, we’ve become kind of like the Wakatipu High School Awhi Fund [renamed Āwhina Support Fund], and that’s the way forward for us.’’

Robins said the trust budgeted to spend $30,000 in music lesson subsidies this year, which it had fully spent, and $5000 for scholarships.

He thanked donors for their continuing support, TUTM’s 20-odd teachers and his fellow trustees.

And, as a parting thought, he said: ‘‘When you next go to a music concert, just remember those artists all started somewhere, and most were supported by parents, families and charitable trusts like TUTM.’’

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