Posted

Authored by:  Jeffrey D. Stauffer, Executive Director – jeff@elvillecenter.org, 443-393-7696

     Your support is needed!

In June, The Elville Center for the Creative Arts celebrated its three-year anniversary working to make a Musical Difference in the Lives of Children in Maryland. Founded in 2014 by Stephen Elville, the mission of The Elville Center is to improve the quality of life of children of all ages by providing them the opportunity to learn music theory and application, experience cultural events related to the musical and creative arts, and to use music and the promotion of music-related activities to transcend social and economic divisions. The Elville Center partners with local and regional businesses and school music programs to give the gift of music to children of all ages who want to participate in music but don’t have the means to do so on their own, refurbish donated musical instruments, purchase new instruments for programs, provide rental instruments and music lessons for students, fund field trips, and help organizations develop music programs.

Since our spring update, one of the Elville Center’s most exciting developments is the establishment of our relationship with the Howard County Autism Society.  With the leadership of Executive Director Melissa Rosenberg and parents of children with autism, HCAS’s mission is directed toward raising awareness and educating the general public about the complexities of autism.  HCAS offers many social activities for children and their families, and this fall the Elville Center is excited to be partnering with Howard Community College and The Music Institute to develop group classes and individual lessons to bring music to children with autism.  Research has shown that music and music therapy can be very therapeutic to children with special needs, and we are working to make a different in these young people’ lives by bringing the joy of music to them.  The initial response to our endeavor has been overwhelmingly positive, and it is our goal to have this program in place in November.

As our numerous updates have always mentioned, the need for support in Baltimore City’s school music programs is a dire one, and the Elville Center has continued to work with our partner schools in the city to help them with their needs as well as develop new relationships, including Coppin Academy High SchoolThis public charter high school on the campus of Coppin State University has a music program under the new direction of Mr. Jesse Williamson, a Master Teacher of music education.  After surveying the school’s needs, the Elville Center sprung into action, quickly repairing numerous instruments and providing much-needed trombone and flute cases along with a strap for the school’s bass clarinet for the school’s current musical instrument inventory.  On a monthly basis, the Elville Center is continuing to help refurbish the many instruments that need care to be put into working condition, and is actively bringing donated refurbished instruments to the school, including thus far an alto saxophone, a bass saxophone, a flute, a trumpet, an Yamaha keyboard, and a baritone euphonium.  The Elville Center also helped Mr. Williamson transition his piano from his previous school to Coppin Academy and arranged to have it repaired and tuned for the new school year.

“This year, I transferred to Coppin Academy High School #432, and The Elville Center has been helping me to get many of my instruments repaired and refurbished and ready for my new high school band students. My Band II students have already begun playing their instruments and I am grateful beyond words to the Elville Center for all of their support,” said Mr. Williamson.  “Over the years I have spent thousands of dollars of my own money in support of my program, but it is heartening to know that there is an organization that seeks to help teachers like me to help make a difference in the lives of children who otherwise might not have the opportunity to play an instrument. Coppin Academy is a small public charter school with an urban population of students, most of whom cannot afford to buy an instrument. It is my goal to instill in them a love of music and foster discipline and self-confidence to go on to greater things in life.”

Another Baltimore City school the Elville Center has just developed a partnership with is the K-8 Empowerment Academy.  The new music teacher at the school, Mr. Marcus Neal, is a teacher the Elville Center has partnered with before at another inner-city school, Franklin Square Middle.  The Empowerment Academy encourages arts enrichment for all of its students, which is a unique philosophy for a Baltimore City school.  The Elville Center is working to bring recorders, xylophones, and boomwhackers to the music program’s younger students, and as Mr. Neal is working to develop a band for grades 5-8, the Elville Center is working to provide more standard brass and woodwind instruments to the older students at this school.

In what is undoubtedly The Elville Center’s most significant venture thus far in carrying out our mission, the Elville Center will be a major sponsor of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, a professional orchestra next to the state’s capitol based in the historic Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, this coming season.  We will be paying for the bus transportation and tickets for hundreds of children to attend the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Concerts for Schoolchildren series.  This partnership with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra will fulfill our mission to give children the opportunity to experience extraordinary cultural events related to music they never would have experienced without some outside support.  The Elville Center is honored to partner with an organization in the ASO that shares our mission and vision so closely, and we are very excited about the impact this sponsorship will make on so many children in the Anne Arundel County community.

“Schools in lower-income communities often do not have the resources to afford tickets or transportation to enjoy cultural events outside school,” said Mr. Patrick Nugent, Executive Director of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra.  “The Elville Center has made it possible for these schools to attend the Annapolis Symphony’s Concerts for Schoolchildren free of charge, for the first time in our history. Early exposure to classical music can captivate a child’s imagination and bring benefits throughout their education and their life. The Symphony is immensely grateful to the Elville Center for its commitment to ensuring children from all backgrounds can enjoy the pleasures and benefits of classical music.”

The projects The Elville Center are spearheading right now are all very unique in scope.  We are helping music programs and organizations all over the state – Prince George’s County, Baltimore City, Anne Arundel County, Howard County – begin and enrich their music programs and give musical opportunities to thousands of students!

And, the participants in these programs come from a wide variety of backgrounds – many from disadvantaged situations that need support to participate in music, and some with special needs backgrounds where music therapy can offer so much in their lives that wasn’t there before.

But regardless of their backgrounds, the one thing that brings them together is their desire to participate in music and the profound difference it makes in their lives.

The Elville Center needs your support and donations to further its important work and help make these projects successful and ongoing.  We need those instruments that you don’t use anymore and are taking up space.  We need your monetary support to help refurbish instruments and obtain the supplies and new instruments these programs need to be successful.

If you would like to donate or learn more about the Elville Center for the Creative Arts, please visit www.elvillecenter.org, or contact Jeffrey Stauffer, Executive Director, at 443-393-7696, or jeff@elvillecenter.org.  And, don’t forget to mark your calendars for Saturday, April 28th, when the Elville Center for the Creative Arts hosts its first annual fundraiser!  Details will be forthcoming.

Thank you for your support of the Elville Center for the Creative Arts!

 

Sincerely,

Jeffrey D. Stauffer

Executive Director

Elville Center for the Creative Arts, Inc.

9192 Red Branch Road, Suite 300

Columbia, MD  21045

443-393-7696

jeff@elvillecenter.org

www.elvillecenter.org