Darien, CT — November 15, 2021– A $10,000 grant is going to Saint John Catholic Church to benefit the music program at Saint John Preschool. The grant, which will be renewed annually, will be applied exclusively toward implementation of Music Together©, an internationally recognized program of music and movement that supports the social, emotional, cognitive and physical development of preschool children.
The contribution was made by Robert and Jan Dilenschneider of Darien, Connecticut, and their siblings Martha Doughty, Mary Lou Shay and the late Jack Dilenschneider.
“Thanks to this generous grant we will be able to expand and enhance Music Together© at our school with additional classes and new instruments, and in addition to our annual Christmas concert, a special spring concert is being planned to honor Martha Witucki Dilenschneider.
Children are naturally musical and giving them the opportunity to explore music in this way at an early age helps to foster a love and appreciation for music that can last a lifetime,” said Debbie Moran, Director of Saint John Preschool.
“Our goal is to make a statement for all of Connecticut,” said Robert Dilenschneider. “A special concert at the church is already planned for next spring in addition to the school’s annual Christmas concert,” he added.
The Music Together© program offers all original songs accompanied by child-size musical instruments such as shaker eggs, sticks and drums for the children to use. The children also use scarves for movement exercises that help enhance their creative expression. Parents can download songs from an app and each child receives a song book with lyrics and activities to continue the learning at home.
The grant is in honor of the Dilenschneider siblings’ mother, Martha Witucki Dilenschneider, who was a great lover of music. The siblings are already honoring their parents, Jack and Martha, with annual $10,000 awards to The Wharton School where Jack Dilenschneider graduated in 1928; the University of Notre Dame, which 18 members of their family have attended; Scripps Howard, where their father worked for 47 years, and St. Charles Preparatory School in Columbus, Ohio.
“Our goal is to create an ongoing impact by making educational opportunities, especially in music and the arts, available to aspiring young people,” said Robert Dilenschneider. Added Jan Dilenschneider, “Music helps teach youngsters to be innovative, creative and melodic. Perhaps someday one of these children will be performing at Lincoln Center.”
“The donation will help our children appreciate music and ideally even inspire musical careers,” said Msgr. Thomas Powers.
Robert Dilenschneider founded The Dilenschneider Group 31 years ago. It is now a leading communications organization with an extensive list of blue-chip clients.
Saint John Catholic Church is located on Post Road in Darien, CT.