Music is a big part of Montereau. Whether it’s a musical guest at happy hours and events or sing-a-longs in the Abbey or Villa, music can often be heard through the hallways at Montereau. Residents here know the importance of music, not only in their own lives, but in the lives of young children.
Sadly, continuous budget cuts have crippled funding to arts programs in Tulsa Public Schools. In the face of these budget cuts, one Montereau resident imagined a way to keep students singing – by making a charitable contribution specifically to the music department at Grissom Elementary.
Montereau has a special relationship with the young students at Grissom Elementary because Montereau has been a Partner in Education with the school since 2005. Residents visit twice each month to work with first and second graders to improve their reading skills. This past November, the fourth grade students were invited to Montereau to honor Veterans by singing in the Veterans Day Program.
The students’ performance sparked an idea in resident Pete Leininger’s head. Pete thought it would be nice if Montereau could make a donation to the elementary school’s music program.”I was happy he had the idea,” Julius Stevak said. “I would have never of that myself!” Pete and Julius approached Montereau CEO, David Murlette, with the proposal, and $1,500 from the Memorial Fund was set aside to be given to the Grissom Elementary School music program. Montereau residents and Montereau Life Enrichment Coordinator, Melanie Lee, presented the music teacher with the check.
“She was speechless, very emotional and very touched,” Melanie said. “The $1,500 will go a long way for their music program to help the kids.”
The teacher intends to use the money to buy instruments and musical equipment for the classroom. Julius believes the skills the students learn using those instruments may impact them the rest of their lives. At a young age, Julius remembers learning to play the accordion, and at one point he even played in a polka band.
“Music is a great stress reliever. When I had bad days at work, I’d come home to see my wife and kids, then go in a room and play for an hour,” he said with a laugh.
Now Montereau is giving that same gift to young music students – a gift that will forever inspire and push them to achieve things they never thought possible.