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FHS student needs help to pay for prestigious summer program

FHS junior Erin Canada has the opportunity to attend the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University's Tisch Summer High School program this summer.

Erin Canada has a unique opportunity to pursue her passion for music this summer, but she needs a little help to make it happen.

Canada, a junior at Farmington High School, is one of just 32 students from across the country and the only student from Minnesota accepted to the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University's Tisch Summer High School program. If everything works out the way she hopes, Canada will spend four weeks in New York City learning the ins and outs of the music business, from recording to distribution to building a record label. It would be a big first step on something Canada hopes will eventually become a career, but there are still some hurdles she has to clear before she can start packing her bags.

Canada has to officially accept her spot in the program April 1, and the response has to come with a $1,500 deposit. There is a further $500 housing deposit due two weeks later, and the full program costs more than $10,000.

That's a big bill for anyone, but especially for Canada. Her mother was laid off in September. Canada has a part-time job at Mackin Educational Resources in Burnsville, but she is a long way from paying for the program on her own.

Canada also volunteers with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Music has been a big part of Canada's life for as long as she can remember. The list of instruments she plays covers nearly every part of a band: flute, guitar, piano, clarinet, trombone and trumpet as well as alto, baritone and tenor saxophone. Most of those she just picked up and started playing.

"I've just always loved music so much," Canada said. "It just seems like the place I want to be."

Canada plays in three bands at FHS and plays flute for musical theater performances. She hopes to work in the music industry eventually, and it was while Googling music programs she found the Tisch School. She could earn six college credits for completing the program.

There is still a long way to go for Canada to get to New York, but she has already gotten some support from relatives. She has started a fund at Wells Fargo Bank in Apple Valley, and she is working on other fundraising ideas. Neither she nor her mother, Kelly Canada Bowman, has any doubt they'll reach their goal.

"We're pretty much go-getters," Kelly said. "If there's something she wants, she's not afraid to go get it."

Anyone interested in contributing can give to the Erin Canada Educational Fund C/O Wells Fargo Bank, 14325 Cedar Ave. in Apple Valley.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

(651) 460-6606