PIANOS FOR PEOPLE
* Inspiration *
It's time again for our annual Evening of 100 Fingers!
Due in large part to your support, PFP continues to have a great year -- we recently
delivered our 200th piano, we have nearly 150 students taking free lessons at our
Cherokee piano school, our Ferguson branch is continuing to grow, and we just concluded a summer of fun (and free) music camps for children of all ages.
This year's 100 Fingers fundraiser will be an inspiring evening of entertainment, featuring New Orleans (originally from St Louis) pianist Tom McDermott, some of St. Louis's top jazz, classical, and blues pianists, and musicians from
Nashville and Savannah. In keeping with our tradition, we will highlight the music of some of our own PFP students, as well, including the prodigious Royce Martin.
Tickets for this event are only $75, and all proceeds will go toward pianos and lessons for underprivileged families and individuals.
We look forward to seeing you on October 22, and thank you again for your ongoing support.
We have been working to increase our base of support
so we can continue to meet the demand for music in the lives
of those we serve. We would like to acknowledge our generous
INSPIRATION: FREE PIANOS
PIANOS FOR PEOPLE DELIVERS ITS 200th
In August, Pianos for People delivered its 200th piano to Bethany Riley-Cable, a talented and committed 15-year-old pianist.
Practicing for years on a small wobbly keyboard, without the preferred standard 88 keys, Riley-Cable has still managed to achieve Superior standings in National Federation of Music Clubs competitions and is about to embark on learning
her first concerto.
To recognize this special occasion, Bethany came to try out and select her own piano, which was delivered the same day! Her piano marked the 200th donated, refurbished instrument since Pianos for People began delivering pianos in December 2012.
Reniya shows outstanding potential as a musician. Her father can play the piano, and she takes lessons at Pianos for People with Amy Seibert (Masters in Piano Pedagogy). She is a curious, engaging, and artistic girl who is always bringing art projects and stories to her lessons. Her favorite song to play is Hungry Herbie Hippo, which she insisted on playing at one of our Piano Slams before she would play with our live house band!
She received her very own piano, to keep, in June.
Mr Kenny Ball, one of the piano technicians who refurbishes and keeps our pianos in tune at Pianos for People, is also an accomplished blues pianist, a piano recipient -- and a delight to have in our studios!
We are so grateful for the quality instruments that we have received from the community.
EDUCATION: FREE LESSONS
Our new school term has begun, and thanks to the increased support from the community, we have been able to increase our teaching hours and now have almost 150 students of all ages registered for lessons at our Cherokee location, with a further 20 students at our Ferguson Studio.
We've added an Adult Class, Music Production and Theory workshops, Learning to Improvise, and a
Music Appreciation Class for 4-5 year olds!
The end of school year recitals in May had students confidently lining up to play for proud family
and new- found friends.
The children hold up their certificates received for our first Pianos for People MUSIC FESTIVAL, where students were able to play for adjudicators, gain performance skills and play for their friends and family. We were incredibly proud of how hard they worked, which was clear in the performances.
One of the key factors is that many of our students now also have pianos in the home, which is so important for their ability to progress and engage in their lessons.
The Pianos for People Ferguson Studio continues to grow and thrive, thanks to a generous grant from the Siteman Family Foundation. We are now teaching two afternoons a week at Ferguson, working with local Boys' and Girls' Clubs, as well as our host, the Ferguson First Baptist Church, in order to extend our reach.
The Free Lesson Program receives grants from the following organizations in order to pay for our highly experienced piano teachers,
music and materials for this Program.
The Alex Townsend Memorial Foundation
Arts & Education Council, Wells Fargo Advisors
City of St. Louis - Board of Aldermen Grant
Crawford Taylor Foundation
Emerson Charitable Foundation
The Siteman Family Foundation (for the Ferguson Studio)
Spirit of St Louis Women's Fund
Trio Foundation of St Louis
The Regional Arts Commission
ENRICHMENT: FREE SUMMER PIANOS CAMPS
More than 120 youths took part in our Free Summer Music Camps over a six week period during the summer. Our TURN UP YOUR TALENT multi-arts performance camps saw singing, dancing, poetry reading, acting and Playing the Blues (of course!)
Our students had been expressing an interest in producing their own music, and a generous grant from Mastercard enabled us to purchase the equipment needed for a Music Production Lab. We launched the workshops during the summer camps, and are now offering weekly workshops at both our Cherokee and Ferguson Locations. You should hear the 'sick beats!'
Our Free Summer Pianos Camps were made possible by the following donations and grants:
100 Women Who Care St Louis
Arthur & Helen Baer Foundation
Blueprint4Summer of the St Louis Community Foundation
Mr Winston Pettus
Patrick & Mary Sly
Richard & Josephine Weil
COMMUNITY: PIANO SLAMS, SUPER THEORY SATURDAY AND MORE
Pianos for People recently held its first FOCUS GROUP (thank you to Mark Golde and Strategies for Growth) and one of the strongest themes expressed by parents and caregivers was that we are "much more than music education." Through our special events, emphasis on parental involvement, and inviting spirit of inclusion, we have created a strong sense of community amongst our families and neighborhood.