Greetings NEPTA Members,

In writing my final newsletter to you, I can’t help but feel a mixture of sadness and joy, as my term as NEPTA President comes to an end this Monday, May 17th. I look forward to sharing laughter, and probably some tears, with all of you at our Annual Meeting and Awards recital. It has been an unusual time and extraordinary journey we have been on together, which began well over a year ago at the onset of the pandemic. As restrictions are slowly lifting, the light at the end of a dark and seemingly endless tunnel is finally emerging, and what a sweet light it is! Over the last few weeks, I have heard stories of family members and friends being reunited with loved ones as we transition back to more in-person activities. No matter what we may encounter ahead, I encourage you to continue to hold on to that light and most of all, to be that light. 

I worked tirelessly to carry the NEPTA torch during this time of transition from an in-person to an entirely online community for the first time in our history. Thankfully, I had many volunteers to help me carry that light along the way and we kept the torch lit together. I am extremely grateful that our volunteers have risen to the occasion to continue to offer online meetings, recitals, competitions, master classes, and teachers' exchanges during a challenging period.  I have been inspired by the incredible support and teamwork I have witnessed among my colleagues and it has been heartwarming to witness the relationships and friendships that have deepened during this time. I send my heartfelt thanks to each of you for making NEPTA a vibrant and warm community.

For me personally, the brightest moment was watching how NEPTA transformed the lives of young piano students in need through our new Music for Hope program which emerged during the pandemic. I am so thankful the Music for Hope Committee was able to envision that dream with me. The funds we raised last fall through the Music for Hope recitals allowed NEPTA teachers to reach out to an under-served group of students that had no access to music lessons. Zoom enabled us to cross barriers of towns and communities to reach otherwise invisible students. We currently have a number of NEPTA teachers involved in this program and NEPTA is making a difference in the lives of these students who are so eager to learn. There are many more students in need waiting for us to give them this opportunity and I will continue to work hard to help develop this program in my NEPTA retirement. I look forward to the NEPTA Music for Hope recitals again this November to keep that cycle of music lessons going year-round for these children. Thank you to the teachers, students and many donors for making this dream a reality!