News

Emergency Food Delivery Update

MONDAY, APRIL 20: Today, our 7-member team in India set off early this morning to make emergency food deliveries to all of the boys and girls of the Mathieson Music School. Please pray that their are not harmed during their journey, that they reach all of our needy children, and that they are able to make their way safely back to MMS.

Emergency Food Delivery Update: conditions are critical for our vulnerable students at MMS. Deputy headmaster John Ashis Mondal reports that most of the boys and girls are suffering from lack of food. Many are down to the last of their supplies. Some are at the point of drinking the starch from water once used to boil rice to survive. It is vital that we provide another food delivery as soon as possible. Without this delivery, our students and their families risk starvation.

So many of our friends around the world have already come together to help our students in this crisis. We are grateful to all who have contributed. Right now, your support is more important than ever. Our students’ need is urgent.

Any amount you can contribute now would be invaluable to help us feed our students during this emergency. Thank you so much for your continued help and support.

A Beautiful Collaboration Continues

Today brings beautiful additions to our Songs of Hope project! Jerry and Anup have collaborated on recordings of songs number four and five, and our good friend, soprano Barbara Gompels has sent us a lovely version of Attend to the World.

All of these recordings are available on our Songs of Hope page linked below.

We’ve been thrilled with the response to these songs and have loved hearing all of your wonderful collaborations with us.

If you would like to record your own version of one or more of our Songs of Hope, you can download all the necessary files on our website!

Recognize this Guy?

Do you recognize the boy in the front row, shown in the video below at a traditional Indian dance lesson at MMS many years ago?

HINT: You have seen him in our posts recently….

It’s Suraj Dolui! This talented cellist was an all-rounder back student then. Now he is a staff member at MMS, one of the key members of the emergency food delivery team (pictured here on his way to make the first the first delivery to current students).

Thank You All!

Thanks to help from friends of MMS around the world, we’ve been able to raise almost $2000 (£1600) to provide food for our students and their families. This should give us with the resources we need to help the MMS team make food deliveries for another month.

We are truly moved by your generosity in a time that is financially challenging for so many. Thank you all!

A few people have contacted us to say they have had trouble finding the right place to make a donation. If you want to donate to the emergency food fund for our students and their families you can do so here on our website at the link below.

Thank you once again! We wish you all health, safety and blessings as we begin this Easter weekend.

Food Deliveries Have Begun

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all our friends who’ve donated to MMS since our last update. Thanks to help from friends worldwide, we’ve been able to raise almost $1000 in donations to provide food for our students and their families through this crisis.

We have been granted permission by West Bengal authorities to distribute food. Today at 6AM (local time), headmaster Dipak Sapui together with John Ashis Mondal, Sairul Molla, Suraj Dolui and Projesh Dhari from our Mathieson team began delivering the assembled packets to our students, each one with a month’s worth of food.

The actions of our staff in the face of this pandemic have been truly heroic. The generosity of our friends has been remarkable. We are blessed with an amazing group of people who are all coming together to support MMS and our students.

MMS Update: April 3, 2020

An update from MMS: Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the construction workers who have been building our new girls’ dormitory and St. John’s International School have been forced to remain on campus due to the current travel restrictions in Kolkata.

Since they are compelled to remain there, these generous people have chosen to continue their work for MMS working with the building materials that had been delivered to campus prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The West Bengal government required MMS to close due to the pandemic in March. Our students come from impoverished backgrounds and this situation has created great hardship for already vulnerable children and their families.

To help support our students in this dangerous and difficult situation, Mathieson trustees from the UK voted to fund food parcels, which MMS staff will prepare and deliver to the children as soon as we have permission from local authorities.

Including transportation, this will cost approximately $25 (£20) per student per month. At present, we anticipate continuing this support for our students for 3-4 months.

Everyone is in challenging financial circumstances at this time and so we’re hesitant to request donations. However, if you do find yourself in a position to make a donation to MMS, we would be deeply grateful for your support.

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More Songs of Hope

We have two new wonderful recordings of Jerry Noble’s first piece in the Songs of Hope series, one performed by Jean Jeffries (horn) and one by Ann Faulkner (violin). We’re looking forward to hearing an organ version from Iah Fontaine.

You can download the scores and accompaniment to record your own version from our Songs of Hope page, which has four instrumental songs plus a piano/vocal piece with lyrics by author Jane Yolen.

Send the recording or video of your performance to us at friendsofthemathiesonschool@gmail.com; we’d love to feature you!

Songs of Hope No. 1

Anup and Jerry are still performing together–even thousands of miles apart. We hope you enjoy listening to the two of them perform Songs of Hope No. 1, composed by Jerry on March 22, 2020, so he and Anup could continue to make music together even though Anup is in London and Jerry is in Massachusetts.

Stay tuned for more Songs of Hope coming soon! Three more are composed and they’re working on recording them.

Keeping the Music Alive

It’s hard to believe that Anup was performing at St. Martin’s Church in East Horsley, UK, just a few weeks ago. Things have changed so much in such a short time.

At MMS, we’re all doing the best we can in these uncertain times. We’re continuing to keep music in our hearts and minds with our Songs of Hope project, and in our fingers with practice where it’s possible in isolation.

We’re thinking of all our friends worldwide right now. How are you all holding up?

Anup performs at St. Martin’s Church, East Horsley, UK on 7 March, 2020

Continuing to Grow

In the 1950s, Father Theodore Mathieson imagined what our school could become: a place for learning, music, shared community and growth for all the students who walked through its doors.


In 1994, Anup Kumar Biswas made that dream a reality.


Today, with our work at MMS and on St. John’s International School, we’re working our hardest to keep that dream alive, and to dream even bigger every day.


We may be rooted in place right now, but we’ll still keep on growing.