Total donated in Russia: $24,993
Partner since: 1998
"Believe me, you have not heard child musicians until you visit the music school in St. Petersburg—
Shingle Springs, California
St. Petersburg Music Boarding School
St. Petersburg Music Boarding School is the only institution of its kind in all of northwest Russia. Here, 100 teachers provide 475 students ages seven to 17 with an academic education through secondary-school level, accompanied by the highest level of music education. Half of the students board at the school, and room and board are free to students who are from poor or troubled families, from orphanages, or whose homes are a great distance away.
Thanks to Grand Circle travelers and Grand Circle Foundation, the school now has the recording equipment necessary for students to produce their own CDs—allowing them to document their accomplishments and share them with the world. Other donations have gone towards purchasing musical instruments, a sound system for the school's concert hall, and an array of music software.
It was the head of Grand Circle's St. Petersburg office who first introduced Grand Circle Foundation to the St. Petersburg Music Boarding School. When she first set foot in the school, it was in disrepair and in immediate need of improvements to both the its structure and its educational materials. Since the Foundation's involvement, the facilities have been dramatically improved.
Over the course of our relationship with the boarding school, we have also had the pleasure of witnessing personal triumphs. Percussionist Pavel Chizhik has dazzled Grand Circle travelers for years, growing before their eyes from an awkward little kid to a confident young man. His dedicated work at the St. Petersburg Music Boarding School has lead to a prestigious scholarship at one of Russia's most esteemed conservatories.
School in session:
January through early December, with summer holidays from the middle of June through August
Gifts to bring if you're visiting:
- Souvenirs from home (magnets, pins, postcards, etc.)
- Pens and pencils, notebooks
- Books for children just beginning to learn English