It would be difficult to imagine the holidays without the music we love. Melodies that lift our spirits and connect us to our traditions are integral to the most meaningful moments in our lives. The Spirit of Harmony Foundation exists to make sure new hands are learning to play music, new ears are learning to appreciate it, and new hearts are learning to love it.
That's why I invite you to join us in our advocacy for the moral imperative of music education. We encourage you to get involved in this important work at a local level, and please consider donating to our Foundation as you make your year-end charitable decisions.
Whether young people make music their life's work as I do, or use the skills music teaches them in other fields, we can't afford to ignore the importance of music education and its
measurable impact on every aspect of a young person's life.
To support our mission, we have exciting plans for 2017. On January 17 I am being joined by original Utopians Kevin Ellman and John Siegler, and Jesse Gress, Greg Hawkes, and Kasim Sulton for a
Night of Harmony benefit concert
in New York City to raise much-needed operating funds.
Throughout 2017, we will work with our network of fans and supporters to organize used instrument collections across the country. We are also working with music retailers, manufacturers, and others to facilitate the flow of instruments and needed accessories into the hands of children who want to learn.
We have learned that one of the main obstacles to music education is getting functional instruments to the children who need them. We've also observed that many people, especially music lovers, have instruments they no longer use and would like to put to good use. The Foundation always strives to connect resources with needs.
Ensemble, our flagship program, provides music education programs with an opportunity to request the assistance they need. Instead of focusing on monetary grants, we tap into our network to cultivate the relationships that will help them excel. We strive to be the "mortar, not the bricks" to connect resources with needs.
During 2016, Ensemble facilitated the donation of over 100 instruments, as well as various supplies, to three different programs. Just as my fans originally came together to inspire the creation of the Foundation in 2013, they did so again this past Fall to help launch a new music program for the children at the South Bend Center for the Homeless. With the support of Greg Hawkes of "The Cars," Kala Ukuleles and local retailer AV Tech/Mighty Mics, the children now have their own Ukulele Band!
To all the educators who are driven by their love for music to create musical opportunities for young people when school systems fail to do so, to all the students who courageously take on difficult pieces of music and earnestly practice until they get it right, to all the parents and families who proudly attend recitals to applaud their kids' efforts, and to all those who let music become the soundtrack of their lives, let me assure you that the Spirit of Harmony Foundation shares and honors your commitment and passion.
On behalf of our Board of Directors, Advisory Board, and all of the children in the programs we support, I sincerely thank you for sharing this vision and supporting the Spirit of Harmony Foundation. We wish you a joy-filled and musical holiday season.
President and Founder