In the Dinosaur Capital of Texas, students benefit from a couple’s desire to spread their love for the arts.
On a Tuesday morning in October, students in Glen Rose sat in the auditorium, tapping their feet and swaying to the rhythm of music. Unlike your average Tuesday, they were not listening to the radio or streaming music from their phones. The audience of almost 2,000 came to hear classical music, performed exclusively for them thanks to the generosity of the Wasilchaks.
Fran and the late John Wasilchak established the Wasilchak Charitable Fund at North Texas Community Foundation to enrich the lives of students in Glen Rose ISD through scholarships and arts education programs. Since 2009, Mrs. Wasilchak has collaborated with various organizations to increase students’ access to the arts through performances and workshops with professional musicians.
This year, Mrs. Wasilchak partnered with the Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth to bring their “Building Blocks of Music” program to Glen Rose. The program featured two concerts performed by a 14-piece chamber orchestra, and all students in Glen Rose ISD were invited to attend.
“Words cannot express the gratitude Glen Rose ISD feels for the opportunity to experience such an amazing day,” said Susan Wright, assistant superintendent of instruction at Glen Rose Independent School District. “Many of our students would not have the opportunity to experience a concert like this if it were not for the vision and commitment of Mrs. Wasilchak.”
To further engage youth with the arts, chamber musicians will return to teach a master class for Glen Rose High School band students next Spring. This opportunity gives students the chance to experience and learn about professional performances, as well as interact with and learn directly from musicians.
“These programs increase their understanding and love of music in a way that will stay with them their entire lives,” Mrs. Wasilchak noted.
The Wasilchak Charitable Fund is endowed, meaning that the Community Foundation will continue their legacy for generations to come. If a future symphony conductor or soloist is announced as being from Glen Rose, Texas, it likely will be because of Fran and John Wasilchak.