Thank you from Manitowoc, WI

We are so grateful to the Classics for Kids Foundation for your generosity and commitment to excellence in string music education. Music has the power to transform lives and as a music educator I am privileged to witness that transformative power each day. The eighteen new instruments have all been placed in the hands of eager students! Please continue to do the good work that you do, it is awesome!

—Monica Hrudik – Music Educator

Manitowoc Public School District Music Department
Manitowoc Public School District Music Department
Manitowoc Public School District Music Department
Manitowoc Public School District Music Department
Manitowoc Public School District Music Department
Manitowoc Public School District Music Department

Manitowoc Public School District Music Department

I really love my cello! It doesn’t just look great, it sounds amazing! It has a really rich and full sound. The first day I got it, I took it home to show my family and they loved it (probably not as much as me though). The color of the cello and the strings are beautiful. The scroll is perfect and the pegs are super easy to tune; that’s really helpful if you’re in a hurry. The new bow is also fantastic! I can tighten the bow exactly how tight I need it and the knob at the end of the bow turns very easily. It doesn’t stick at all.
Thanks for helping me get this cello. I plan on using it throughout all of my high school years. love my cello!

—Josie G.

Manitowoc Public School District Music Department

Thank you so much for the new viola! I can tell it plays way better than my old viola. The appearance is 200% better! My old one had carvings of smiley faces and words on it, but this one doesn’t have a single scratch on it! The case I am really thankful for. My old case had no strap or handle so I was unable to bring it home, but the case is soft on the inside and has a handle AND a strap! I am very thankful to have received a new instrument from the grant! Thanks again!

—McKenna P.

Manitowoc Public School District Music Department

I find my new cello to be of much higher quality than the previous one I had. The new cello is a lot more explosive in sound, and has a better response compared to the other cellos owned by the school before, not to mention a louder sound overall. The bright tone is not unlike what professional cellists use, so I am elated to have the newer instrument. I also find the new cello easier to tune, which increases the confidence in my music because I know the tuning is more accurate.
The carbon-fiber bow that accompanied the instrument is also very sleek and appears resilient to wear. The new bow is also lighter and easier to rosin, yet still has a powerful grip on the strings. There is no doubt that the higher bow quality also contributes to the new cello’s better performance.
I sincerely thank the grant institution for giving Lincoln High School the opportunity to better our instrument selection and make our orchestra more professional.

—Nile M.

Manitowoc Public School District Music Department

I am very grateful and happy, for receiving a new violin! The violin and bow are very beautiful, I enjoyed playing it for the first time. The tune is amazing, and better than my old violin. The violin in itself is gorgeous, making me want to play it more, and learn the pieces faster, in order to play it correctly. I feel like the violin gives me an extra boost, the way it sounds makes me want to play loudly and show everyone how great the violin sounds! I’m very excited to play the violin in the future, thank you very much!!!
—Yadira F.

Manitowoc Public School District Music Department

Well I like my new instrument because there’s no scratches, and it’s way easier to hold, and it won’t give you splinters on your neck, it’s way nicer than my old one, it sounds a lot better.

—Quianna R

2015 Fourth Quarter Grants

The following grants were awarded in the fourth quarter of 2015.  Congratulations to the following programs!

Brooklyn NY PS 230: this ethnically diverse school serving grades 2-5 wishes to build a string program to complement their active band program; they have received a $2,000 matching grant from CFKF to support this exciting new initiative.

Cincinnati Public Schools Itinerant String Program: This large school district serving children grades 1-6 proposes to greatly increase access to instruments for four schools that are classified as Title I near downtown Cincinnati. The student population is mixed and predominantly black; CFKF has offered an initial $2500 matching grant to support this large new initiative.

Fergus Falls MN Fergus Falls Orchestras: This traditional string program, serving kids grades 4-12 in this rural community in Minnesota, wishes to expand access to strings for students and families unable to participate due to rental fees. CFKF has offered a $1,000 grant to support their request.

Flint MI Carmen-Ainsworth: This is the third grant application from Flint, which supports a quickly growing string program. Flint is an economically challenged community that nonetheless supports this active program. We offered them a grant to help them gain access to beautiful new cellos.

Hartford CT Kinsella: This privately run program supports children grades 1-12 from the public schools in Hartford. Our $1,000 grant will allow them to expand their string program along with a greater variety of instruments. The student population is diverse, and 85% of the children qualify for the Federal free lunch program.

Lapwai ID SD 341: This exciting new program, serving primarily Native American students grades 7-12, aims to create a new string program for the Nez Pierce Nation. 91% of these children are identified as socioeconomically disadvantaged, and 91% qualify for the Federal free lunch program. We are offering them a $3,000 grant to support this exciting new initiative, funded by a generous gift by Deon Hilger.

Monterey CA MP USD:  This substantial new initiative serving grades K through 12 aims to revitalize string education for 4 schools supporting several hundred students in the Monterey area. Many students are English language learners, and 73% qualify for the federal free lunch program. We are supporting their growth with a $2,000 matching grant.

Nellysford VA Nelson County Community Orchestra: This program for students grades 2-12 in a rural part of Virginia is a community orchestra for students of all ages that these kids participate in. Their goal is to provide more instruments to students whose families could otherwise not afford participation. CFKF has offered them a $1,500 matching grant.

New Haven CT Music Haven: Music Haven is an innovative new afterschool program serving a predominantly at risk population grades 2-12, and 80% qualify for the Federal free lunch program. Black and Latino students make up 82% of their enrollment. We have given a $1,000 matching grant for 3 new instruments to help them keep their upward momentum.

Peekskill NY City School District: This program, serving an ethnically mixed population of students grades 3-5, aims to develop an ambitious program for string instruction throughout the district. 73% of the students qualify for the Federal free lunch program, and a major goal is to provide instruments for students unable to afford rental fees. We’ve offered them a $1,500 matching grant.

Richmond VA Public Schools: The RPS Education Foundation is embarking on a large initiative to build support and inventory for most of the 26 schools they serve. Only 9 of these schools currently have an instrument inventory and rely heavily on instrument rentals. 87% of the kids qualify for the Federal Free Lunch program, and 80% of the students are African-Americana. We are supporting this large and exciting initiative with an initial $2,000 matching grant.

Santa Cruz CA El Sistema Santa Cruz: This program aims to develop a stronger string program in one of the elementary schools through an El-Sistema inspired initiative. The population is both primarily at risk and economically disadvantaged, and many are English language learners. They have been offered a matching grant to expand their instrument inventory.

Texas Lutheran University Community Music Academy: This program serving grades 2-12, supports a diverse student population; between 40-82% qualify for the Federal free lunch program (depending on the child’s background). This is the second grant request from Texas Lutheran; the program has grown substantially since our first grant, and they have a strong need for more and larger instruments as the children grow. CFKF is supporting this program with a $2,000 matching grant.

Topeka KS Public Schools: The Topeka public schools need substantial support to help them revitalize their aging inventory of instruments in order to encourage participation and continuation in strings grades 6-8. They have a substantial string program, but attrition is substantial after f5th grade, often due to Instruments of poor quality. The population is ethnically diverse, and approximately 80% of the students qualify for the Federal free lunch program. We have offered them a $2,000 matching grant to help them build an exciting new inventory.

Watertown MA Friends of Watertown Music: This organization wishes to build support and stringed instrument inventory for the general Watertown MA public schools. This suburban Boston community serves a diverse and often low-income family population.  We are offering them support for 3 new cellos.

2015 Third Quarter Grants

More grants awarded!

Bowie, MD: Youth Jazz Orchestra: This community is building a jazz orchestra to engage a predominantly at-risk and ethnically diverse population. CFKF is providing support for several new instruments for this innovative program.

Charlestown, SC: Allegro Charter School: This new school is creating a music program to serve an ethnically mixed group of middle-school students from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds; their goal is to create a full orchestra soon. CFKF has offered support for new instruments for this exciting new program.

El Monte, CA: El Monte, CAHSD: This program serving a diverse group of high school students aims to provide musical opportunity to disadvantaged youth. The program is growing quickly, and the school offers a variety of musical experiences for the kids there. CFKF is providing matching support for 4 beautiful new instruments.

Elmira, NY: Elmira, NY HSD: This district, located in the southern tier of New York, has an active instrumental program, but limited school aid to support the purchase of new instruments (most are 40 years old or older). Our grant will both revitalize inventory for their high school strings program and provide free access to instruments to students unable to rent or buy them.

Greenville, SC: Legacy Charter School: This rapidly expanding program serves an ethnically diverse population grades K-4; his program is funded exclusively through a local Foundation. Their goal is to build strings participation and begin a middle school program soon, and CFKF is supporting this initiative with a matching grant.

Houston, TX: Reece Academy: Reece Academy offers strings instruction for pre-K and Kindergarten students, and wishes to modestly expand their inventory so that students can take already damaged instruments home to practice. They’ve received a grant from CFKF to support this goal.

Mankato, MN: Buela Youth Orchestra: This High School Seminary organization wishes to build an after-school youth orchestra and build an instrument inventory to provide access to instruments for young people regardless of their economic circumstances. We’ve offered them a matching grant to meet this challenge.

Mayer, AZ: Mayer Elementary PTO: This group wishes to begin a grade 4-8 string program in this very rural area school district; the PTO was formed to help support the creation or continuity of arts programs where there was little school support. The area is depressed economically; 34% of the students qualify as homeless. CFKF has offered this program support for their purchase of 7 new instruments.

Middlebury, VT: Community Music Center: This new program, serving a largely rural area around Middlebury, aims to allow participation in strings regardless of financial circumstances. There is little strings instruction in the area, and this program fills that gap. We’ve offered matching support for 6 new violins and violas.

Missoula, MT: Loyola Sacred Heart Foundation: This school serves students from a broad area of northwestern Montana; they have an active string program serving high school kids, and wished to provide a double bass to complete their inventory. We’ve supported their request, and continue our history of supporting the arts in Montana, the birthplace of CFKF.

Moreland, CA: Music in Moreland: This quickly growing middle school program serving an ethnically diverse population supports 6 schools in the Moreland CA area with strings instruction. Our support for several new instruments will allow more students to participate regardless of need.

Phoenix, AZ: Western School of Science and Tech. This new string program serving middle school kids serves a low-income population; they hope to build a substantial program to offer musical opportunity to the students there. We have offered support for several instruments for this exciting new program.

Pueblo, CO: Bessemer Academy: This middle school is starting a new string program this year, and wishes to build an inventory for their ethnically mixed student population. CFKF has offered support for 3 new instruments for this new initiative.

St. Louis, MO: Lutheran HS: This string program, located in an economically challenged area of St. Louis very close to Ferguson, wishes to build a quality string program for kids in a difficult environment. They have a very small inventory, and our grant will strengthen their ability to offer strings.

St. Louis, MO: Classical Guitar Society: This private program, serving kids from the Ferguson area of St. Louis, provides classical guitar instruction to kids from low-income families in a particularly strife-ridden area. We have offered support for many new guitars to support this important program.

San Marcos, CA: Fortissimo Program: CFKF supported the creation of this new program for 3rd and 4th graders last year; it is expanding rapidly and needs an infusion of more instruments (they can only expand the program when they have instruments available for the kids). We have offered a second grant to support this quickly growing program.

Scranton, PA: Marywood University: This afterschool program serves serves kids K-12 run by Marywood U. They wish to expand to offer more opportunity to families who would not otherwise be able to participate due to rental fees. We have offered them a second-round matching grant to encourage this growing and well-run program.

Zachary, LA: Zachary CSD String Orchestra: This middle school string program, serving an ethnically diverse population, wishes to build its inventory of double basses (they have 9 bass players but only 5 instruments so the kids have to share). CFKF has offered this growing program a matching grant for more new double basses.

Evaluations from New West Symphony Harmony Project

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Due to funding from Classics for Kids Foundation, we have been able to create a new viola class. This has not only enabled more children to join the program (7 students in the viola class), but has also added greater depth to our orchestra and chamber ensembles (previously there were only violins, cellos, and jaranas in the string section). Our sound is fuller and richer, which is exciting for the students. We have also been able to add one more chamber group since we now have more string students. Lastly, our violin teacher was able to teach more hours with the addition of a viola class.

I love music. When I play, I don’t worry about anything. I forget the rest of the world and get lost in the music. It’s just so interesting and it keeps me focused and entertained.

There are now more options for string instruments, which has added an element of enthusiasm and curiosity. Most students had not previously known what a viola was. There is also a wonderful bond among our violists as being the “first ever Harmony viola class” and also for being the “unique” ones. Parents have been learning about the instruments alongside their children. We currently have 40 string player students, compared to the 30 we had last year.