Blog post by Mundi Project Program Coordinator, Mary Beth Christensen
On March 1st, I had the pleasure to represent the Mundi Project at a plaque placement ceremony at West Ridge Academy. This plaque was placed on the beautiful grand piano donated to the West Ridge Academy through Mundi’s Piano Bank Program. This program has placed pianos to over 215 public spaces like West Ridge Academy and individual families since the founding of the Mundi Project in 2006.
Here is a little background on West Ridge Academy, taken from their “About Us” web page.
West Ridge Academy began in 1964 as the Utah Boys Ranch. The organization quickly became recognized for the positive effects its program had on young men who were struggling academically, emotionally, and socially. Today, the academy has served more than 25,000 families, has expanded its services to include outpatient therapy, day treatment, and separate residential campuses for boys and girls. West Ridge Academy continues to bring hope and healing to families all across the world.
I had the opportunity to speak to Tom, the music director at West Ridge Academy. He expressed the challenges and successes of directing the musical endeavors at the Academy. Tom shared how rewarding it was to bring his musical experience and expertise to youth whose musical background varies, and who can strongly benefit from having music apart of their life. He was very grateful to now have a beautiful grand piano for use in his music classes.
After the plaque ceremony, I was privileged to attend the “Bring Spring” recital put on by the youth at West Ridge Academy. I was entertained by the talent of the natural performers, and touched by the heartfelt, meaningful performances each performer presented. Many of the song choices had themes of hope, healing, and acceptance.
When I asked one of the girls who had been in the program for 11 months what her experience was like at West Ridge Academy, she said
“I like it here. They have a good program, and it’s changed my life. I’ve turned my life around, and I feel like a new person.”
It was such a special experience to see real lives being changed because of everything West Ridge has to offer, including the incorporation of music in their curriculum.