Posted

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

A  young girl is singing in a recording studio to music she composed herself.  A seventh grader who didn’t have his own trumpet last semester is now practicing at home to hit that high G for the first time.  A middle school jazz band is listening to a replay of its winter concert on a new stereo system with HD speakers in its classroom.  And, a third grader is handed a clarinet he’s always wanted to play for the first time and squeaks out the first note to the delight of his teacher.

Founded in 2014 by Mr. Stephen R. Elville, Esq., the mission of the Elville Center for the Creative Arts 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.

Since our last update, the Elville Center has continued to develop new relationships, including the music programs at George T. Cromwell Elementary in Glen Burnie, and Brooklyn Park Elementary in Baltimore.  We recently visited with the Instrumental Music Director of these schools, Ms. Carol Cox, and found her to be very dedicated to her students and working hard to give the gift of music to them despite few resources at her disposal.

Ms. Cox mentioned that lack of funding for music at her schools doesn’t allow her to replace supplies once they are depleted, nor fix equipment and instruments when they break.  The Elville Center encouraged her to provide a “wish list” of items that would benefit her classroom and students, which she quickly provided.  Ms. Cox was also the first teacher to invite me to visit one of her classes during a “live session,” and I gladly accepted her offer.

A follow-up visit was set in November to deliver much-need items to benefit her schools’ music programs, including: an LG stereo system with CD player and Bluetooth capability; a trombone hard case, alto sax case, bass clarinet case, and trumpet case; boxes of reeds for clarinets and saxophones, oils and rosins; mouthpieces for instruments; and swabs for saxophones and clarinets.

The November delivery was just the beginning for Ms. Cox and her students, as the Elville Center visited George T. Cromwell again in December for an early holiday delivery to fulfill more items on her wish list.  During this trip, the Elville Center assisted the music programs with three fully-refurbished violins with cases and new bows; three additional new violin cases for their existing instruments; snare drum stands, cello rock stop straps; and a bell kit with case.

“So many of our students don’t have access to an instrument or have the means to rent or buy one.  I’ve seen music brighten the lives of so many students who face difficult challenges in and out of school,” noted Ms. Cox.  “The school’s funds and equipment are lacking to meet the needs of all our students, so the extraordinary donations from the Elville Center for the Creative Arts are helping to bring music to more of our children.  The kids’ excitement when presented with new equipment can’t be compared to anything except to how they might respond to a ton of Christmas gifts!  Thank you to the Elville Center for elevating my students’ musical experience this year with your generous donations!”

The Elville Center’s relationship continues to grow with Dr. Max VanDerBeek and the music program at Wiley H. Bates Middle School.  As readers may recall, Bates Middle is home to a Performing and Visual Arts (PVA) Middle School Magnet Program, which is designed to provide students who demonstrate artistic ability, interest and potential a curriculum of rigorous training that emphasizes the creative process through collaborative opportunities.  However, due to financial constraints, many of the school’s students do not have the means to participate in music without some outside support.

Over the past several months, the Elville Center has supported Dr. VanDerBeek and the Bates music program with a wide variety of contributions, including three donated, refurbished trumpets; a donated Mapex drum set with cymbals; a donated set of conga drums; a donated, refurbished clarinet; two donated, refurbished flutes with new cases; a new keyboard case; new drum cases; reeds for various instruments and contributions towards repairs for instruments in its current inventory.

“We can’t thank the Elville Center enough for its support over the past two years,” said
Dr. VanDerBeek.  “We’ve received over 30 instruments from the Elville Center and the difference they’ve made in our music program can’t be put into words.”

In January, the Elville Center’s Executive Director, Jeffrey Stauffer, and Dr. VanDerBeek, were interviewed by Jonathan Palevsky, popular radio personality at 91.5 WBJC, to discuss our partnership with Bates Middle School as well as our partnership with the classical music station.  The interview can be heard in its entirety on the Elville Center’s website, www.elvillecenter.org.

“On behalf of the students and administration of Bates Middle School, we are extremely grateful to the Elville Center for our relationship,” said Dr. VanDerBeek.  “They’ve given us wonderful, responsive support that has benefited our program so much.”

Mr. Elville and the Elville Center were recently featured in the 2017 Maryland Edition of Super Lawyers Magazine in the publication’s “Good Works – Lawyers Giving Back” section.  The article discusses how Mr. Elville created the idea for the Charity, looked back on student Daniel Coleman’s initial involvement in developing the Charity’s first school relationship, and talked about the Charity’s desire to make an impact in the Baltimore City school systems, where the needs are most pressing.

“Mr. Elville and the Center have brought a whole new level of music to my life.  Now that we have the instruments to learn, my peers and I are able to not just enjoy other people’s music, but our own,” said Daniel.  “Students have spoken to me about how over the last couple of years, they were not able to play the instruments themselves, but rather on practice on paper.  At school, they used to print out a picture of a piano keyboard and my friends would only be able to ‘play’ on the paper; they never were able to heard the notes.  Now they get to enjoy the sound of the music they make.”

A link to the Super Lawyers article can be found on the Elville Center’s website, www.elvillecenter.org.

As was mentioned in the Super Lawyers article, the Charity has learned that, while there are needs to be fulfilled all over Maryland, the needs of Baltimore City schools’ are the most dire, and funding is needed for the Elville Center to work to fulfill the needs of these and other schools.  An example is Franklin Square Elementary and Middle School in downtown Baltimore, whose band director, Mr. Marcus Neal, contacted the Elville Center because his music program did not have working music stands, valve oils, trombone slide oils and other supplies for the third and fourth quarters of this year.  And, for every two children that want to play an instrument in his program, there is only one instrument to go around.

Fortunately, the Elville Center was able to fulfill Franklin Square’s initial needs, and we are actively working to add to the school’s musical instrument inventory.  However, these needs will reoccur, and for every school that contacts the Elville Center, there are 10 in Baltimore City and beyond we have not yet met that have the same needs.  Funding from donors is an integral part of the Charity’s ability to make a difference in the schools’ music programs.

The Elville Center is on the move in 2017, developing new partnerships and fostering existing ones as we continue to “Make a Musical Difference in the Lives of Children.”  And, as a non-profit organization, we depend on the generosity of donors to help make our vision a reality, including donations of used musical instruments and general monetary pledges.  The Elville Center continues to engage in new and exciting initiatives to capture the minds and hearts of our individual and corporate donors and surrounding communities.  These initiatives
and donor opportunities include:

  • sponsoring a child (young musician);
  • sponsoring a specific school’s music program;
  • sponsoring/facilitating a fundraising event;
  • making a specifically directed monetary donation;
  • making a gift in memoriam;
  • volunteering/donating time to the Elville Center; and
  • sponsoring the Elville Center through one’s business.

The Elville Center is actively seeking donations to further its important work.  If you would like to donate or learn more about the Elville Center for the Creative Arts and its initiatives, please visit www.elvillecenter.org, or contact Jeff Stauffer at jeff@elvillecenter.org, or 443-393-7696.

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

Posted

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

In our recent August newsletter, we provided an update on what has been taking place at the Elville Center for the Creative Arts, and we wanted to take this opportunity to share with you again our mission and some nice success stories that have unfolded over the past month in the charity’s work since our recent update.

The Elville Center was founded in June 2014 by Mr. Stephen R. Elville, and our mission is to improve the quality of life of children of all ages by providing them the opportunity to learn music theory, experience cultural events related to the arts, and to use music to transcend social and economic divisions. We want to give the gift of music to children who want to participate in music but don’t necessarily have the means to do so on their own – truly making a musical difference in the lives of children.

We partner with local and regional businesses and schools’ music programs to fund field trips, provide new and donated refurbished musical instruments, rentals, music lessons and participation in music-related activities for children of all ages.

We’ve been very busy since our summer newsletter update.

At the end of last school year, one of our school partners, Benjamin Tasker Middle in Bowie, told us about a new 6th grade orchestral program it wanted to begin this fall, quite the task starting a music program from the very beginning.  Over the past few months, we’ve focused our efforts, among other projects, on collecting donated musical instruments for Tasker’s new venture. And, on Tuesday, September 20th, we were able to deliver to the school these refurbished instruments, some new cases and bows along with other supplies to help get the new orchestra’s students off to the great start they deserve.  At the Elville Center, it is all about making a musical difference in the lives of children.

Another brief story to share — a few weeks ago, the Elville Center was contacted by a family in Randallstown who has a special needs child in middle school – his name is Bradley.  They heard about the charity on the classical music station 91.5 WBJC – as many of our partners do.  This family has experienced many challenges recently, and Brandon had attended a Baltimore County Public School since becoming school-age.
Fortunately though, this year, to better support his situation he’s attending a private school on scholarship; however, this school does not provide loaner instruments to its students as Baltimore County did, and he’s played the saxophone for a few years, which has proven very therapeutic for his special needs situation.  I’ve been told by his mother he’s very talented and passionate about playing and participating in the school band.

With the family’s financial situation, though, they could not afford the cost of a saxophone – they’re expensive – and the supplies needed to go along with it. But, I’m pleased to say the Elville Center sprang into action and was able to quickly refurbish a donated saxophone and deliver it along with a new case and all the supplies needed for Brandon to participate in his new school’s band and continue to enjoy the benefits that playing an instrument provide him.

The family was quite overwhelmed at the Elville Center’s willingness to help, as they shared their thoughts in a note to us shortly thereafter, saying, “I am overwhelmed at how the Elville Center went out of its way both physically and figuratively.  My children and I appreciate your kindness, and that of Mr. Elville.  My son Bradley was so happy to see the beautiful case and lovely instrument when he got back from school.  The addition of his own instrument will dramatically improve on his skills and mastery of the instrument itself, as you are aware.  I wanted to reach out to you to let you know how blessed I felt that day.”

Again, it’s all about making a musical difference in the lives of children.

We’re looking forward to a busy fall.  We have a number of schools’ wish lists of items they need for the new school year we’re working to fulfill, and we depend on the support of donors just like you for refurbished instruments and other means of support to make these stories I shared with you realities.

If you’d like to learn more about the Elville Center for the Creative Arts or wish to donate, please contact Jeff Stauffer, Executive Director, at jeff@elvillecenter.org, or at 443-676-9691.  You may also visit our website at elvillecenter.org and click on the donate button to learn how you can make a difference.

Posted

By:  Jeffrey D. Stauffer, Executive Directorjeff@elvillecenter.org, 443-393-7696

In June, The Elville Center for the Creative Arts celebrated its two-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, refurbishes donated used musical instruments, purchases new instruments for programs, provides rentals and music lessons for students, funds field trips, and helps organizations develop music programs.

Since our last update, the Elville Center has continued to develop new relationships, recently partnering  with The Children’s Home (TCH) (thechildrenshome.net) to lay the foundation for a music program for its residents. Situated on a 54-acre campus in Catonsville, Maryland, TCH has been in existence since 1853, offering services to young people and families who experience disruption in their lives.  Many of the young people who reside at TCH find the arts to be a very positive outlet, and for many years TCH has wanted to establish a music program for them.

Many instruments ranging from clarinets and trumpets to guitars and flutes have been refurbished and donated to TCH, and the Elville Center also purchased a drum set and new guitar for the program.  TCH is also establishing a permanent home for the music program in a building that will be considered a Cultural Center on its campus.

For those student residents who want to learn and practice playing instruments in a more structured environment, the Elville Center has arranged for a music teacher to visit the campus every two weeks to provide them instruction.  And, for those students interested in the vocal side of music, students are given the opportunity to sing in a studio environment – recently eight students visited Catonsville’s Songbuilder Studio to learn the ins and outs of recording music and singing in a sound studio.

On June 16th, the Elville Center was privileged to receive a Community Service Award from TCH at its Annual Meeting.  Our relationship with TCH was also featured in an interview that can be heard on  classical music station 91.5 WBJC as well as our website, www.elvillecenter.org.  Only the surface of what can be accomplished musically at TCH has been scratched, and the Elville Center is proud to call this fine organization its musical partner.

This year, the Elville Center also collaborated with Central High School in Capitol Heights.  This school’s large music program has a dedicated team who reached out to the Elville Center for assistance in achieving its potential.  At our initial meeting with the department’s representative, John Bridgeo, we were immediately ushered into the auditorium where we were introduced to the music program’s jewel – a Steinway M grand piano – which was in need of many repairs.  Along with many other broken instruments and missing supplies, three other pianos stood in near obsolescence, no longer in working condition.

The Elville Center soon took action.  Arrangements were made to fully refurbish the Steinway, and a piano dolly was purchased and delivered to the school to protect and transport the Steinway during its many moves between performances.  Also, three “new” upright pianos were donated to the Elville Center and delivered to the school, along with other instruments and supplies that were provided to the program to improve the school’s musical instrument inventory.

“We have benefited twofold from our experience with The Elville Center,” noted Mr. Bridgeo. “The obvious major aspect of the help has been the financial boost from donated instruments and services that cover missing mouthpieces and reeds, to refurbished instruments, to a grand piano dolly and the refurbishing of a Steinway grand piano for recitals, concerts and expanding list of uses. The other aspect of this two-fold benefit has been the more personal partnership with the Elville Center who cuts through the red tape and produces RESULTS. No vouchers or purchase orders – [we simply see] needed delivery often by the Elville Center. We couldn’t imagine a more effective relationship to help staff and students reach individual and institutional goals.”

The Elville Center salutes the fine group of teachers and students at Central High School, and we look forward to our continued relationship for many years to come.

The Elville Center continues to work with Benjamin Tasker Middle School in Bowie, Maryland – the current project is a new orchestral program for fall 2016.  We are also pleased to continue relationships with New Era Academy (which received a donated piano this spring), The Bridges Program in Baltimore, Wiley H. Bates Middle School in Annapolis, and others.  Further new projects are on the horizon, and we happily anticipate becoming involved with those opportunities.  In the interim, we are excited to continue making musical differences in the lives of the children involved in all of our partner programs, current and prospective.

The Elville Center is actively seeking donations to further its important work.  If you would like to donate or learn more about the Elville Center for the Creative Arts, please visit www.elvillecenter.org, or contact Jeff Stauffer, Executive Director, at jeff@elvillecenter.org, or 443-393-796.

 

Posted

By:  Jeffrey D. Stauffer, Executive Directorjeff@elvillecenter.org, 443-393-7696

In June, The Elville Center for the Creative Arts celebrated its two-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 schools’ 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, refurbishes donated used musical instruments, purchases new instruments for programs, provides rentals and music lessons for students, funds field trips, and helps organizations develop music programs.

Since our last update, the Elville Center has continued to develop new relationships.  The Elville Center has partnered with The Children’s Home (thechildrenshome.net) to lay the foundation for a music program for its residents, and the relationship has flourished. The Children’s Home has been in existence since 1853, situated on a 54-acre campus in Catonsville, and it offers services to young people and families who experience disruption in their lives.  Many of the young people who reside at TCH find the arts to be a very positive outlet for them, and TCH has wanted to establish a music program for its student residents for many years.

Many instruments ranging from clarinets and trumpets to guitars and flutes have been refurbished and donated to TCH, and the Elville Center also purchased a drum set and new guitar for the program.  TCH is also establishing a permanent home for the music program in a building that will be considered a Cultural Center on its campus.

For those student residents who want to learn and practice playing instruments in a more structured environment, the Elville Center has arranged for a music teacher to visit the campus every two weeks to provide them instruction.  And, for those students interested in the vocal side of music, eight students visited Catonsville’s Songbuilder Studio to learn the ins and outs of recording music and singing in a sound studio, and students are given the wonderful opportunity to sing in the studio as well.

On June 16th, the Elville Center was privileged to receive a Community Service Award from TCH at its Annual Meeting.  Our relationship with TCH was also featured in an interview that can be heard on  classical music station 91.5 WBJC as well as our website, www.elvillecenter.org.  We have only scratched the surface of what will be accomplished musically at TCH, and the Elville Center is proud to call this fine organization its partner.

Earlie this year, the Elville Center also collaborated with Central High School in Capitol Heights.  This school’s large music program has a dedicated team who reached out to the Elville Center for assistance in achieving its potential.  At our initial meeting with the department’s representative, John Bridgeo, we were immediately ushered into the auditorium where we were introduced to the music program’s jewel – a Steinway M grand piano – which was in need of many repairs.  Along with many other broken instruments and missing supplies, three other pianos stood in near obsolescence, no longer in working condition.

The Elville Center soon took action.  Arrangements were made to fully refurbish the Steinway, and a piano dolly was purchased and delivered to the school to protect and transport the Steinway during its many moves between performances.  Also, three upright pianos were donated to the charity and delivered to the school, and other instruments and supplies have been provided to the program to improve the school’s musical instrument inventory.

“We have benefited twofold from our experience with The Elville Center,” noted Mr. Bridgeo. “The obvious major aspect of the help has been the financial boost from donated instruments and services that cover missing mouthpieces and reeds, to refurbished instruments, to a grand piano dolly and the refurbishing of a Steinway grand piano for recitals, concerts and expanding list of uses. The other aspect of this two-fold benefit has been the more personal partnership with the Elville Center who cuts through the red tape and produces RESULTS. No vouchers or purchase orders – [we simply see] needed delivered often by The Elville Center. We couldn’t imagine a more effective relationship to help staff and students reach individual and institutional goals.”

It has indeed a pleasure to work with the fine group of teachers and students at Central High School. We look forward to our continued relationship with Central High School for many years to come!

The Elville Center also continues to work with Benjamin Tasker Middle School in Bowie, which is interested in developing a new orchestral program for the fall.  And, we are very pleased with our continued relationships with New Era Academy – which also received a donated piano this spring — and The Bridges Program in Baltimore as well as Wiley H. Bates Middle School in Annapolis, among others.  New relationships are on the horizon, and we are excited about the opportunities that await in making a musical difference in the lives of the children involved in all of our partner programs.

The Elville Center is actively seeking donations to further its important work.  If you would like to donate or learn more about the Elville Center for the Creative Arts, please visit www.elvillecenter.org, or contact Jeff Stauffer, Executive Director, at jeff@elvillecenter.org, or 443-393-796.

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Pictured left to right (Stephen R. Elville, Founder; Jeffrey D. Stauffer, Executive Director, Andre G. Cooper, Chief Executive Officer of The Children's Home)

Pictured left to right (Stephen R. Elville, Founder; Jeffrey D. Stauffer, Executive Director, Andre G. Cooper, Chief Executive Officer of The Children’s Home)

 

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

On June 16th, The Elville Center for the Creative Arts was privileged to receive a Community Service Award from The Children’s Home at its Annual Meeting, held at Matthews 1600 in Catonsville.

Over the past several months, The Elville Center has partnered with The Children’s Home to lay the foundation for a music program for its residents, and the relationship and flourished since its inception.

A Children's Home resident singing at Songbuilder Studio

A Children’s Home resident singing at Songbuilder Studio

The Children’s Home has been in existence since 1853 and sits on a 54-acre campus in Catonsville.  Its mission is to provide residential and community services to promote long-term well-being and success for young people and families who experience disruption in their lives.  Many of the young people who reside at The Children’s Home find the arts to be a very positive outlet for them, and TCH has wanted to establish a music program for its residents for many years.  After one of its staff members heard about The Elville Center on the classical music station 91.5 WBJC, work began to bring music to the students.

Many different types of instruments ranging from clarinets and trumpets, to guitars and flutes have been refurbished and donated to the program thus far, and The Elville Center also purchased a drum set and new guitar for the program as well.  TCH is also establishing a permanent home for the music program in a building that will be considered a Cultural Center on the campus.

Along with practicing the instruments on their own time, The Elvile Center has arranged for practice time for the residents every two weeks with a music teacher who visis the campus to provide instruction to those interested in a more structured environment.

Also, on June 27th, eight students along with staff members of TCH visited Catonsville’s Songbuilder Studio to learn the ins and out of recording music and singing in a sound studio, and students were given the wonderful opportunity to sing in the studio as well.

We’ve just scratched the surface of what will be accomplished at The Children’s Home, and The Elville Center is proud to call this fine organization its partner.  We look forward to working with its residents and staff to grow its music program for many years to come!

For more information about The Children’s Home, please visit www.thechildrenshome.net.

Posted

By: Jeffrey D. Stauffer – Director, jeff@elvillecenter.org, 443-393-7696
The very best relationships are those that grow over time.

For those that have followed The Elville Center since its inception in June of 2014, you may recall the Center’s first relationship developed with Benjamin Tasker Middle School in Bowie. A student at the school, Daniel Coleman, heard about The Elville Center after listening to his favorite station, 91.5 WBJC, and contacted us because he wanted to help his school’s band get better-equipped with more musical instruments. Our relationship with the school continues to this day, as we work with the school to provide instruments and other support to its music program, including working with the school’s music and orchestra director, Mr. Kevin Gillis, to help develop an orchestra program for the 2016-17 school year.

Daniel, meanwhile, has moved on to Central High School in Capitol Heights, and he is not only growing up but also expanding his talents by learning to play the violin. He also recognized the same need for help within Central High’s music department as Tasker’s, and reached out to The Elville Center again to see if we’d be interested in supporting his new school’s music program. Of course, our answer was a resounding “Yes!”

A meeting with set with John Bridgeo, scheduler, tech coordinator and math teacher at the school, and Band Director John Byass —- who immediately introduced us to the school’s gem, a vintage Steinway M grand piano that was in need of multiple repairs.

Though not directly involved in the music department, Mr. Bridgeo has a keen interest in the music program’s success as he has a storied background in music so long it could be put into book form. Mr. Bridgeo gave us a tour of the school, including its auditorium, which is home to five other schools’ concert performances along with Central High’s throughout the school year. It was very clear how much the Steinway meant to the school as well as other Prince George’s County’s music departments as so many schools benefit from its amazing sound during their performances in Central High’s auditorium.
We also discussed the need for additional pianos for the school, as over time all four of the upright pianos in the school’s music rooms broke down and were no longer functional.

Over the past couple months, The Elville Center got to work. Jordan Kitt’s Music was called upon to refurbish the Steinway, and a piano dolly was purchased and delivered to the school to place the Steinway on and protect it during its moves between performances. Further, two upright pianos were kindly donated to the charity (with a third on the way) and delivered to the school by Johnson’s Piano Moving and instruments and supplies have been donated to the school to improve the school’s musical instrument inventory.

“We have benefited twofold from our experience with the Elville Center,” noted Mr. Bridgeo. “The obvious major aspect of the help has been the financial boost from donated instruments and services that cover missing mouthpieces and reeds to refurbished instruments to a grand piano dolly and refurbishing of a Steinway grand piano for recitals, concerts and expanding list of uses. The other aspect of this two fold benefit has been the more personal partnership with The Elville Center who cuts through the usual misery of red tape and produces RESULTS. No vouchers or purchase orders with mounds of paperwork just what is, within reason, needed delivered often by The Elville Center. We couldn’t imagine a more effective relationship to help staff and students reach individual and institutional goals.”

It has been indeed our pleasure to work with such a fine group of teachers and students at Central High School in providing support to its music program. We are looking forward to our continued relationship with Central High School for many years to come!

If you know of a school or organization that could benefit from the assistance The Elville Center offers, please contact us. And, to learn how to make a musical difference in the life of a child by making a monetary pledge or donating a musical instrument, please visit our donate page.

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

In March, The Elville Center developed a relationship with a truly unique organization that makes a difference in the lives of young people in its community, The Children’s Home in Catonsville.  Established in 1863, The Children’s Home (TCH) is a non-profit residential care facility that provides services to youth 13 to 21 years of age who have experienced abuse, neglect, violence or abandonment.  The Children’s Home is a place these students can truly call “home.”

After hearing about The Elville Center on 91.5 WBJC, Mr. Bruce VanderVort, Grant Writer and Publicist for The Children’s Home, reached out to The Elville Center to inquire about starting a music program for its students.  TCH has many programs in place for the children on its 44-acre campus, including many arts programs that have proven very successful and enjoyed by its student residents.  Mr. VanderVort launched a campaign on the organization’s Facebook page asking for musical instrument donations, and the community responded by offering keyboards, guitars, and various other instruments to get the program moving in the right direction.

But, the question begged – what to do with some donated instruments and students that have never touched an instrument before?

The Elville Center and Mr. VanderVort met and determined that, beginning in mid-May, The Elville Center will support having music instructors visit The Children’s Home every couple weeks and teach the students the basics of playing musical instruments.  To promote a sense of harmony and spirit and with a number of guitars on hand, the first lessons will be with a guitar instructor so students can play together, and as the instrument inventory grows and students’ interests are piqued about certain instruments, different instructors will be brought in to give lessons about different instruments.

The Elville Center was also able to purchase a new guitar for TCH and provide the students two additional guitars, a ukulele, and a trumpet kindly donated to The Elville Center along with refurbishing a violin and flute TCH had in its inventory.  The Elville Center will continue to help increase The Children’s Home musical instrument inventory so children can experience playing as many instruments as possible as the months progress.  Other opportunities discussed include having the students experience playing instruments in a band format as well as offering vocal instruction at a local studio.

“The support from [The Elville Center] and the community helps generate a strong sense of hope, creating endless possibilities and positive outcomes.  There are endless possibilities of the services and programs we offer the residents – leading to endless possibilities for their future,” said Gail Lee, Director of Development at The Children’s Home.  “The increase in program opportunities in music will provide hours of enjoyment that is very therapeutic to youth.  And there is always the possibility that what the residents learn today can turn into a satisfying career.”

We are so excited about the opportunities that could open up for some of these young people that may never have experienced music without this new music program offered by The Children’s Home – all through the vision of Mr. VanderVort!  We at The Elville Center are truly humbled by the opportunity to partner with such a caring, extraordinary place that makes a difference in the lives of its students and is a pillar in its community.  To learn more about The Children’s Home, please visit thechildrenshome.net.  And, to learn how to make a musical difference in the life of a child by making a monetary pledge or donating a musical instrument, please visit our donate page.

 

TCH -- bruce, jeff, guitar
TCH -- bruce, jeff, trumpet
pictures and story for The Children’s Home article — in pictures, Mr. Bruce VanderVort — Grant Writer/Publicist for The Children’s Home, Jeffrey Stauffer — Director, The Elville Center (donated new guitar to The Children’s Home by The Elville Center, refurbished trumpet donated to The Elville Center provided to The Children’s Home)

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

One of The Elville Center’s goals is to help children experience cultural events related to the musical and creative arts, and recently the Center was fortunate to do just that through its partnership with Halethorpe Elementary School.

Ms. Denise Schneider, a music teacher at the school, contacted The Elville Center asking for support so all of its students could attend a planned field trip to the Meyerhoff for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s performance of “Peter and the Wolf.”

The Elville Center was more than happy to step in and provide the financial support needed so all of Halethorpe Elementary’s third-grade students could attend this enriching cultural experience.

The field trip turned out to be a wonderful success!  And, Halethorpe Elementary was so kind to surprise our office with a nice letter written by the students who attended the performance, which is shown below:

“Thank you for your donation to Halethorpe Elementary.  All of the students were able to attend the trip to the symphony to see “Peter and the Wolf.”

My favorite part of the trip:

“I liked when the wolf in the play caught the duck and then at the end, the duck turned into an angel.”

“I liked when Grandpa came out on stage.  He was so big.”

“My favorite part was when the wolf did that thing with his eyebrows moving up and down.”

“My favorite part was when the cat was stuck in the tree.”

“My favorite part was when the duck jumped in the water.  I did not expect confetti to come out.”

“I liked when all the musicians tuned their instruments so I could hear how they sounded.”

Music and the arts are indeed integral to children’s educations.  By the responses seen above to the trip one can see how their imaginations were captivated and an enjoyable experience was had by all.

The Elville Center appreciates Ms. Schneider reaching out to us so we could be of assistance and look forward to our continued partnership with the school.

Click here to learn how you can support The Elville Center and help us offer support to music programs and students like the ones at Halethorpe Elementary.  Make a musical difference in the life of a child today!

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By:  Jeffrey Stauffer, Director – 443-676-9691, jeff@elvillecenter.org

Below is a link to an interesting article, originally published by “The Atlantic CityLab”, discussing a study that shows putting programs in place for children such as music and other extracurricular activities helps steer kids away from poverty and towards a more positive path in life. It is, in essence, why The Elville Center for the Creative Arts does what it does – to make a musical difference in the life of a child and to give the gift of music to children that can’t afford it on their own. Music and the arts make a difference in children’s lives and taking these activities away from those that need and want them is part of a recipe for failure.

Click on the link below for the full article, and “Make a Musical Difference in the Life of a Child Today!”

http://www.citylab.com/politics/2016/04/why-promising-students-struggle-to-escape-poverty/477360/