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Music to their ears . . . Waitaki Girls' High School pupils (from left) Charlotte Wollstein, Ella Hamilton, Meadow Neill, Katie Kinnaird, Holly Taylor, Skyla Shaw, Ashley Nicholson, Sophia Aitu, Emma Bubbins and Tilly Helm are thrilled to have new keyboards in their school. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Schools across the Waitaki district are hitting the high notes following the purchase of new musical instruments.

The Ruby Marris Trust has donated $18,000, spread across 18 schools, each of which used its share to buy new or replacement instruments.

The money was raised after a charity Christmas dinner was hosted by the trust last year.

Trust member Linda Cant said it was great the trust could support schools throughout the district.

“They were rapt because schools don’t get a lot of funding,” she said.

Waitaki Girls’ High School music teacher Olivia Gonzales was thrilled with the donation.

jaw dropped to the floor when it was announced in staff briefing.

“Music departments are not often the first choice for funding.

“It is a huge, huge blessing to receive financial support and encourage our students to develop a passion for this area of life that the Marris family, myself and others treasure.”

Waitaki Boys’ High School teacher Stephen Hinds was also pleased with the money that was donated to his school.

“It’s a chance to get things we don’t normally get,” Mr Hinds said.

“I think it’s absolutely fantastic – it’s extremely generous.”

The trust was formed in memory of Mrs Cant’s granddaughter, Ruby Marris, who was killed in a crash near Moeraki in 2015.

The focus of the trust was to help children pursue their own musical passions.

Mrs Cant knew Ruby would be thrilled to know the trust was helping other children throughout the community.

“Ruby will be smiling,” she said.

Plans were in place to host another charity dinner at the end of this year.

“We’ll be doing more stuff,” Mrs Cant said.

“It won’t be musical instruments but it’ll be something for kids.”