Posted

By:  Jeffrey D. Stauffer – Executive Director

I hope this message finds everyone well as we move towards the fall semester for schools, one of the busiest times of the year for the Elville Center. I am receiving many “wish lists” from music teachers we are working to fulfill for their music programs, and now more than ever your support is needed to help the Elville Center “Make a Musical Difference in the Lives of Children” who want to participate in music but don’t have the means to do so on their own. Many of the schools we work with have student populations that come from disadvantaged backgrounds and simply don’t have the funds to purchase or rent instruments and the supplies needed to maintain them.

 To go along with the above work, the time is near when we are going to make a large purchase on behalf of Sisters Academy in Halethorpe. As I mentioned in my June update, Sisters Academy is “a tuition-free, Catholic, community-centered middle school that educates girls of different races, ethnicities and religions from families with limited economic means in southwest and west Baltimore. The Academy empowers its students to become agents of transformation in their families, communities, and society.” In May, I had the pleasure of meeting with Ms. Jeanne Dolamore, Principal; Ms. Eileen Phelps, Development Director; and Ms. Alison Johnson, Music Teacher, at the Halethorpe-based Academy to learn about the school, its staff and students, and its music program’s current situation, its vision and needs. To view my June update about Sisters Academy please click here.

The program has two sets of beautiful hand chimes and one set of hand bells that get a lot of use. Ms. Johnson has resurrected some hand chimes that were donated but several of them are starting to show a great deal of wear – they are literally being held together by Scotch tape. While these sets are integral pieces to the music program, they are not sustainable and must be replaced.

This is where the Elville Center and you come in. I am asking for your support to help us purchase a new set of Suzuki chimes for Sisters Academy. This is a significant expenditure and will run about $1,400. A link to a description of the chimes can be found here.

 

The Elville Center needs your support for this purchase and others for the fall semester that is around the corner. Virtually every single one of the refurbished instruments, equipment and supplies the Elville Center provides are not possible without donor support. We need those instruments that you don’t use anymore and are taking up space.

And, most importantly, we need your monetary support to help purchase those Suzuki chimes, refurbish those instruments, purchase supplies, and facilitate cultural learning experiences for student musicians in need such as the student musicians at Sisters Academy.

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, all donations made to the Elville Center are tax-deductible. Right now is an ideal time to consider a donation – it feels good to know you made a difference! There are many needs at Sisters Academy and many other schools we are working on, and we are asking for your support in helping us make a difference in these student musicians’ lives!

To learn even more about the Elville Center for the Creative Arts, please visit www.elvillecenter.org, contact Executive Director Jeff Stauffer at jeff@elvillecenter.org, or call 443-676-9691 (my cell). Or, to donate through Venmo, please use our business handle (@elvillecenter). To donate through our website, please visit https://elvillecenter.org/make-a-monetary-donation/. We appreciate and value your support!

Most sincerely,

Jeffrey D. Stauffer

Executive Director

Elville Center for the Creative Arts, Inc.

7100 Columbia Gateway Drive, Suite 190

Columbia, Maryland 21046

P: (Main)

C: 443-676-9691 (Cell)

E:  jeff@elvillecenter.org

W: www.elvillecenter.org

Posted

By: Jeffrey D. Stauffer – Executive Director

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.  If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.”    Albert Einstein

As the Elville Center for the Creative Arts celebrates its eight-year anniversary this summer, the foundation of our mission remains the same as the day we opened our doors and minds to the concept of working to “Make a Musical Difference in the Lives of Children” each day 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 school music programs and other music organizations 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. We do this by refurbishing donated musical instruments, purchasing new instruments for programs, offering overarching support to developing music programs, partnering with professional symphonies and other organizations to fund music education initiatives, and much more.

As schools got back to in person concerts and music filled packed auditoriums once again, the Elville Center remained extremely busy helping provide instruments and supplies to school music programs around the state.  Below are two examples of developing relationships that have kept the Elville Center busy the past several months.

The Annapolis Symphony Academy and Orion Youth Orchestra

First, an update to our growing partnership with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Annapolis Symphony Academy.  As I mentioned in our winter charity update, back in November Steve Elville and I were afforded the opportunity to meet with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Executive Director Dr. Edgar Herrera, Annapolis Symphony Academy Director and Founder Dr. Netanel Draiblate, and ASA Program Coordinator Julie Nolan at the ASA’s home at Temple Beth Shalom in Arnold to learn more about the ASO’s recent activities and initiatives. We also wanted to learn how our support could be make the biggest impact for the ASO community, not just now but over the next several years.  After that meeting, we were so moved by what we heard and saw that the next day we signed a five-year major sponsorship agreement with the Annapolis Symphony to support its educational initiatives within the communities it serves.

Since then, Dr. Draiblate and his fellow musicians in the Orchestra, Ms. Kimberly Valerio (flute) and Mr. David Perkel (trombone) have visited the Elville Center two times and left with a total of 35 instruments for its expanding Annapolis Symphony Academy programs, including its Orion Youth Orchestra and growing band and jazz ensembles.  They were overwhelmed at the selection of instruments we had on hand and the quality of the instruments, which were all fully refurbished and in like-new playing condition.  

 What a wonderful success story for the Elville Center, the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Annapolis Symphony Academy!  And, most importantly, the students in the Academy Orchestras and Ensembles!

 To build on that success, a trio of student musicians from the ASA’s Orion Youth Orchestra performed at Elville and Associates’ annual Client Event in May.  Leading the orchestral trio of two violinists and one cellist was Dr. Netanel Draiblate, Annapolis Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster and founder of the ASA.  The student musicians performed several classical music pieces and looked, acted, and sounded like a professional orchestral trio!  Unknown to guests, the students got together of their own accord at 6 a.m. that morning to practice one more time before the event – what true dedication to their craft!  

Sisters Academy of Baltimore

Just as the ASO/ASA relationship is one that has grown with effort and support over time, we have the same high hopes for a new partnership recently developed this spring with Sisters Academy of Baltimore.  The Academy is “a tuition-free, Catholic, community-centered middle school that educates girls of different races, ethnicities and religions from families with limited economic means in southwest and west Baltimore. The Academy empowers its students to become agents of transformation in their families, communities, and society.”  In May, I had the pleasure of meeting with Ms. Jeanne Dolamore, Principal; Ms. Eileen Phelps, Development Director; and Ms. Alison Johnson, Music Teacher, at the Halethorpe-based Academy to learn about the school, its staff and students, and its music program’s current situation, its vision and needs.   

 Last September the school was fortunate to hire Ms. Johnson through Notre Dame’s Operation Teach Program, and in the words of Ms. Phelps, “she has been a true gift – a natural educator, who the students took to immediately.”  Before her arrival and due to Covid, very little was happening musically at the school, so a three-pronged long-term plan was put into place.  This involved building a general music program, a choir and instrumental program, and an experiential extended day program with music offerings including bells, guitar, and keyboard for starters.  Good strides have been made on all three fronts, and recently Ms. Johnson has been doing a thorough inventory of instruments recently donated to the school.

One of our biggest issues facing the music program right now are donated Instruments they currently could use that they do not have the funds to repair – and they know they will have the same issue with future donated instruments.  Current repair needs include:

  • 1 trumpet, 1 trombone, 1 euphonium, 5 clarinets, and 4 saxophones
  • 1 cello and 2 – 3 violins that are in need of being repaired or set up properly (fallen sound posts, new strings, fine tuners required, etc.)

The ongoing need for instrumental accessories are in line with the above as well – from violin bows of various sizes, to strings, rosins, shoulder pads and things like instrumental reeds for clarinets.  The program also does not have any music stands for its students.  

As alluded to above, the program has two sets of beautiful hand chimes and one set of handbells that get a lot of use.  Ms. Johnson has resurrected some hand chimes that were donated but several of them are starting to show a great deal of wear.  While these sets are integral pieces to the music program, they are not sustainable in the long term.  Ms. Johnson has identified the following needs:

  1. replacement clappers for most of the hand chimes, those these have been difficult to identify and locate – or replacing the sets in full
  2. In order to use the handbells, specialty padding is needed for the tables on which they sit cut at custom sizes
  3. Bell ringing (specialty) folders that can be attached to the tables for ease of reading

With all of this information in hand, the Elville Center sprang into action and is fulfilling several needs for Ms. Johnson, her students and The Sisters Academy music program as a whole, including:

    1. Purchasing 15 music stands as a start for the program.  This was five more than Ms. Johnson mentioned would make an immediate impact for the program.
    2. Taking all of the instruments in the program’s inventory needing refurbishments to Music & Arts of Severna Park to refurbish as many of the instruments as practical
    3. Donating 11 requested musical instruments to the program, including five flutes, three violins with bows, two trombones, one clarinet, and one keyboard.  More will be available to the program as the fall semester’s needs become more clear
    4. Donating several extra violin bows and a cello bow.
    5. Researching costs and replacement options for the hand chime sets.  This is a significant expenditure that will cost $1,000 – $1,300 per set, and donor support will be paramount to help the Elville Center fulfill this important need for the program.  
    6. Researching and contacting the company that makes the special foam padding for the hand bells to determine a solution to the custom padding needs for the program’s bells

 I detailed The Sisters Academy program situation as it is a perfect example of a school music program we look forward to helping grow and succeed now and in the years to come.  There are three critical factors we look for when partnering with a school that is developing a music program, all of which The Sisters Academy has: 1) it has the support of the school’s administration; 2) it has a dedicated teacher that is invested in and cares for her students very much; and 3) its students truly care about music and want to see the program grow.   As they say at Sisters Academy and in the words of Spanish cellist Pablo Casals, “Our children must know that they are miracles.”  

The Elville Center needs your support to further its important work and help develop and further new relationships such as Sisters Academy of Baltimore and continue to grow existing ones that are depending on the charity. Virtually every single one of the refurbished instruments and equipment the Elville Center provides are not possible without donor support. We need those instruments that you don’t use anymore and are taking up space.

And, most importantly, we need your monetary support to help refurbish those instruments, purchase supplies, and facilitate cultural learning experiences for student musicians in need such as those students at Sisters Academy.

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, all donations made to the Elville Center are tax-deductible.  Right now is an ideal time to consider a donation – it feels good to know you made a difference!  

To learn even more about the Elville Center for the Creative Arts, please visit www.elvillecenter.org, contact Executive Director Jeff Stauffer at jeff@elvillecenter.org, or call 443-676- 9691. Or, to donate through Paypal or Venmo (@elvillecenter), visit www.elvillecenter/donate. We appreciate and value your support!

Posted

By:  Jeffrey Stauffer – Executive Director of the Elville Center for the Creative Arts, Inc.

I hope this message finds everyone well as we move into springtime.  I have a few updates about the Elville Center I’d like to share with you!

Car Magnets for Sale

After a long wait, Elville Center-branded car magnets are available for purchase through our website.  These are a great way to show your support for the charity!  They are 4-1/4” in diameter and easily fit on your car or refrigerator.  Consider showing your support for the Elville Center by purchasing one today for $10 by visiting https://elvillecenter.org/purchase-a-charity-car-magnet/.  Shipping is free!  

More Free Tickets Available from the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra Courtesy of the Elville Center

Based on our longstanding relationship with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra here at the Elville Center and through Elville and Associates, we are fortunate to have received more free tickets to an upcoming ASO concert at Strathmore on Sunday, April 10th at 3 p.m.  Information on obtaining tickets is below in red.  Tickets are limited to two per household and are going very quickly!

From the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra:

“The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra would like to offer you two (2) complimentary tickets to Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, at Strathmore Music Center on April 10th, 2022 at 3 pm.

Florence Price: Mississippi River Suite | Mendelssohn: Concerto for Violin ~ with Leticia Moreno, violin | Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring

How to redeem your tickets:

1)     Click Here to go to Strathmore’s website.

2)     Click the orange box “Buy Tickets”

3)     Enter the promo code TEMPO in the “Promo Code” box and click “Apply”

4)     Select the number of tickets (this code is only valid for up to 2 tickets per order)

5)     Choose your seats on the seating chart and “Checkout” OR select “Quick Checkout”

6)     Check the box to acknowledge Strathmore’s COVID policy. (Click Here for full policy)

7)     “Complete My Order” and enter your account information or register for an account

Please call Strathmore’s Box office at 301-581-5100 if you have any questions on how to use the complimentary promo code.”

The ASO’s Recent Visit to the Elville Center

First, some background … back in November, Steve Elville and I were afforded the opportunity to meet with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Executive Director Dr. Edgar Herrera, Annapolis Symphony Academy Director Dr. Netanel Draiblate, and ASA Program Coordinator Julie Nolan at the ASA’s home at Temple Beth Shalom in Arnold to learn more about the ASO’s recent activities and initiatives. We also wanted to learn how our support could be make the biggest impact for the ASO community, not just now but over the next several years.  After that meeting, we were so moved by what we heard and saw that the next day we signed a five-year major sponsorship agreement with the Annapolis Symphony to support its educational initiatives within the communities it serves.

We learned the ASA is the educational arm to the ASO and has expanded from 20 students at its inception to over 60 in just over a few years. I think it is expressed best by ASO Music Director Jose-Luis Nov and Dr. Draiblate in the ASA’s introductory video. In the video they said, among other thoughts, “We have some exciting news to share. ASA launched three years ago and has experienced exponential growth. Students experience private lessons, orchestral training, guest workshops, and access to Annapolis Symphony Orchestra rehearsals and concerts. Teachers are actual ASO musicians, and it is extremely rare to be afforded this opportunity to learn from such experienced teachers. The ASO is equal opportunity to all and has a diverse student body, and financial aid is available. Music is vital to any child’s development, developing and enhancing brain activity and further developing brain activity and allowing better language skills, leadership abilities, and academic abilities. Albert Einstein, Neil Armstrong, and Thomas Edison are just a few examples of incredible individuals who played musical instruments.” Dr. Draiblate’s and Maestro Novo’s full message can be found at www.TunedToYouth.org and I strongly encourage you to check it out!

Netanal Draiblate, Kimberly Valerio, and David Perkel of the ASO visit the Elville Center to select instruments for the Annapolis Symphony

 Since then, Dr. Draiblate and his fellow musicians in the Orchestra, Ms. Kimberly Valerio (flute) and Mr. David Perkel (trombone) have visited the Elville Center two times, including a visit last week, and left with a total of 35 instruments for its expanding Annapolis Symphony Academy programs.  They were overwhelmed at the selection of instruments we had on hand and the quality of the instruments, which were all fully refurbished and in like-new playing condition.  

 What a wonderful success story for the Elville Center, the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Annapolis Symphony Academy!  And, most importantly, the students in the Academy Orchestras and Ensembles!

The Elville Center needs your support to further its important work and help develop and further new relationships such as the Annapolis Symphony Academy that are depending on the charity. Virtually every single one of the refurbished instruments and equipment the Elville Center provides are not possible without donor support. We need those instruments that you don’t use anymore and are taking up space.

And, most importantly, we need your monetary support to help refurbish those instruments, purchase supplies, and facilitate cultural learning experiences for student musicians in need such as those students that participate in the Annapolis Symphony Academy.

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, all donations made to the Elville Center are tax-deductible.  Right now is an ideal time to consider a donation – it feels good to know you made a difference!  

To learn even more about the Elville Center for the Creative Arts, please visit www.elvillecenter.org, contact Executive Director Jeff Stauffer at jeff@elvillecenter.org, or call 443-676- 9691. Or, to donate through Paypal or Venmo (@elvillecenter), visit https://elvillecenter.org/donate. We value and appreciate your support!

Sincerely,

Jeffrey D. Stauffer

Executive Director

Elville Center for the Creative Arts, Inc. 

7100 Columbia Gateway Drive, Suite 190

Columbia, Maryland 21046

P:  443-393-7696 (Main)   

E:  jeff@elvillecenter.org

W:  www.elvillecenter.org 

Posted

By:  Jeffrey D. Stauffer – Executive Director – Elville Center for the Creative Arts, Inc. 

“Music expresses feeling and thought, without language; it was below and before speech, and it is above and beyond and words.” – Robert G. Ingersol 

As the Elville Center for the Creative Arts celebrated its six-year anniversary in June, the foundation of its mission remains the same as we work to “Make a Musical Difference in the Lives of Children” each day 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 school music programs and other music organizations 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. We do this by refurbishing donated musical instruments, purchasing new instruments for programs, providing rental instruments, offering support to develop music programs, partnering with professional symphonies and other organizations to fund music education initiatives, and much more. 

Though the situation has improved, as we know the COVID discussion has not gone away in schools and now more than ever the support of interested clients and community members like you is critical to the Elville Center’s continued ability to keep music alive, and in many cases, help restore and enhance music to schools and the thousands of student musicians in Maryland that aren’t afforded the opportunities they desire to participate in music. School music programs are being defunded, and countless programs in existence don’t have the necessary funding, instruments, equipment, and supplies to give student musicians the experiences they deserve and desire. Teachers do not have their own money to pour into their programs to pay for needed equipment, supplies, and instruments – but they sometimes pour their own money into their programs anyway for the benefit of their students they believe in and care about so much. To make matters more difficult, music teachers are searching for and finding creative ways to teach music with students in masks in their rooms. The Elville Center must be part of the solution for these programs. 

Before we discuss how we’ve been helping our school music partners this fall semester, let’s talk a bit about some other organizations we support that are making a difference in children’s lives. 

The Baltimore Classical Guitar Society, which offers a groundbreaking “Guitars for Change” program for at-risk youths we’ve discussed in previous charity updates, is adding a new pilot program which will be under the umbrella of “Guitars for Change” – tentatively to be named “Guitars for Veterans.” 

This new initiative will be in collaboration with Perry Point VA Medical Center in Perry Point, Maryland. The program will provide veterans in its outpatient program with free acoustic guitars, lessons and accessories in a 10-week program starting in the spring of 2022. This program will be offered in both the spring and fall semesters with a summer course as well. After the veterans complete the 10-week course the guitars will be theirs to keep. 

Along with the many classical (nylon-string) guitars the Elville Center has provided the Guitars for Change program over the years, we have begun offering acoustic (steel-string) guitars to the new Guitars for Veterans program. I was fortunate to catch up with our good friend, president of the Baltimore Classical Guitar Society Asgerdur Sigurdardottir, the week before Thanksgiving and delivered eight fully refurbished acoustic and classical guitars for the benefit of the Guitars for Change and Guitars for Veterans programs. 

If you have a guitar you would like to donate to the Elville Center, we are actively looking for classical and acoustic guitars to benefit the programs mentioned above. As always, all donations made to the Elville Center are tax-deductible. 

Before moving on, I wanted to share one more item about the Guitars for Change program that made my day recently. The following link is a performance by some of the program participants at a recent concert of the beautiful song “Remember Me” from the hit movie “Coco.” Many of the guitars being used were donated by the Elville Center! I encourage you to watch – it will be the best three minutes of your day! You can view it here — https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=vC-hKrbQmac 

Moving on, as Executive Director of the Elville Center for the Creative Arts, Inc., I am thrilled to announce the Elville Center has signed a five-year commitment to continue as a major sponsor of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra. Steve Elville and I were afforded the opportunity to meet with ASO Executive Director Dr. Edgar Herrera, Annapolis Symphony Academy Director Dr. Netanel Draiblate, and ASA Program Coordinator Julie Nolan at the ASA’s home at Temple Beth Shalom in Arnold in early November to learn more about the ASO’s recent activities and initiatives. We also wanted to learn how our support could be make the biggest impact for the ASO community, not just now but over the next several years. 

We learned the Annapolis Symphony Academy is the educational arm to the ASO and has expanded from 20 students at its inception to over 60 in just over a few years. I think it is expressed best by ASO Music Director Jose-Luis Nov and Dr. Draiblate in the ASA’s introductory video. In the video they said, among other thoughts, “We have some exciting news to share. ASA launched three years ago and has experienced exponential growth. Students experience private lessons, orchestral training, guest workshops, and access to Annapolis Symphony Orchestra rehearsals and concerts. Teachers are actual ASO musicians, and it is extremely rare to be afforded this opportunity to learn from such experienced teachers. The ASO is equal opportunity to all and has a diverse student body, and financial aid is available. Music is vital to any child’s development, developing and enhancing brain activity and further developing brain activity and allowing better language skills, leadership abilities, and academic abilities. Albert Einstein, Neil Armstrong, and Thomas Edison are just a few examples of incredible individuals who played musical instruments.” 

Dr. Draiblate’s and Maestro Novo’s full message can be found at www.TunedToYouth.org and I strongly encourage you to check it out! 

This is an extremely important endeavor for the Elville Center, as the ASO and its strong educational initiatives through the Annapolis Symphony Academy check every box within the Center’s mission of improving the quality of life of children of all ages by providing them the opportunity to learn music theory and application, experiencing cultural events related to the musical and creative arts, and using music and the promotion of music-related activities to transcend social and economic divisions. When asked to comment on the Elville Center’s new long-term commitment to the ASO, Dr. Draiblate remarked, “We are immensely thankful for the generosity of the Elville Center for the Creative Arts in support of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra’s educational programs, primarily our biggest and newest initiative: The Annapolis Symphony Academy. Over the next five years this gift will provide more students access to high-level musical instruction given by leading Annapolis Symphony Orchestra musicians, regardless of the student’s background or ability to pay. The Annapolis Symphony Academy is an afterschool music program of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, providing private lessons, ensemble training and concert access among other musical opportunities to students in the MD/DC/VA area. The Academy offers need-based financial aid to those who cannot afford musical instruction and is designed to address the lack of diversity in the modern American orchestra. About fifty percent of our student body hails from underrepresented backgrounds in the orchestral landscape. This 50/50 model promotes interaction, the ability to bridge differences, and promote long-lasting relationships through music.” 

We wish to thank Dr. Herrera, Dr. Draiblate, Ms. Nolan and everyone at the ASO and ASA for their partnership and leadership in the music education arena for children of all backgrounds. The best is yet to come! 

As has been the case since our inception, the Elville Center continues to make our school music program partners a primary focus of the work we do on a daily basis. Providing donated refurbished musical instruments to children who want to participate in music but cannot afford an instrument is vital to ensure all students who want to explore music have the opportunity to do so. Most school music programs simply do not have the inventory to provide every student with an instrument that needs one. This fall the Elville Center delivered over 50 instruments to schools throughout central Maryland, which is one of my favorite parts of my role as executive director of the charity. We’ve developed new relationships with many schools over the past several months, including Bodkin Elementary in Lake Shore, Braddock Middle in Cumberland, West Annapolis Elementary in Annapolis, Annapolis Elementary in Annapolis, Germantown Elementary in Annapolis, and Ducketts Lane Elementary in Elkridge, with other new relationships pending. Seeing the smiles on the hardworking teachers’ faces and the gratitude they express when I visit them cannot be overstated. Below are comments from some teachers I visited recently with instruments in hand sharing their thoughts about how the Elville Center have benefitted their school music programs and student musicians: 

Ms. Carol Cox, NBCT – Instrumental Music – Bodkin Elementary (Lake Shore)

 “Elville Center for the Creative Arts, Inc. under the direction of Jeff Stauffer has been nothing short of a huge blessing for my public school programs. Historically, many of the school instruments that are lent to students in need are “well loved” and often older than the student — some are, dare I say, even older than myself. Thanks to the Elville Center, I have been able to accommodate more students with high-quality instruments and have even been able to retire some instruments in my inventory. Without their help, the time and effort to make these upgrades happen would have kept dozens and dozens of children from experiencing the joy of instrumental music! Thank you to Steve Elville, Jeff Stauffer and the Elville Center for the Creative Arts!!” 

Mr. Andrew Ritenour – Band Director – Germantown Elementary, West Annapolis Elementary, and Annapolis Elementary

“As a Title 1 school, Germantown, West Annapolis, and Annapolis Elementary Schools serve many students who are financially unable to rent or buy instruments to participate in Band and Orchestra. Donations like those through the Elville Center for the Creative Arts help to ensure that all students – regardless of economic status – can enjoy the benefits of a well-rounded education inclusive of instrumental music. We are lucky to have the support of Mr. Elville, Mr. Stauffer, and the Elville Center for the Creative Arts and thank all who have supported this foundation to make these experiences accessible to our students!” 

Ms. Christine Brimhall – Director of Instrumental Music – Monarch Academy Annapolis 

Thank you for your donation of instruments to Monarch Annapolis. We have received one saxophone, three trumpets, and a flute. Your donation will be used by the students at our Title 1 School. The students that will use these instruments and materials are students that are unable to rent the necessary items to participate in band or strings. With your donation, more students can participate in instrumental music. In addition, these materials will remain at Monarch Annapolis so that future students can participate in our music program. Again, thank you for your support!”

Dr. Maximus Vanderbeek – Instrumental Music and Band Director – Wiley H. Bates Middle School 

“Bates Middle school in Annapolis has benefited in great ways from the Elville Center for the Creative Arts. They continue to provide funding support for a monthly guest professional artist to visit our band students. They provide much needed funds for things like clarinet and saxophone reeds which our students’ families typically cannot provide. Lastly, they recently donated eight quality refurbished instruments to our band and orchestra. The impact of this cannot be overestimated. Thank you to the Elville Center from all of us at Bates Middle.” 

After speaking with many teachers and organizational leaders in the community over the years, I dare say it is not a stretch to say we are a very unique program here at the Elville Center for the Creative Arts, and we are blessed to have donors and interested readers like you help make our vision of “Making a Musical Difference in the Lives of Children” each day a reality. I constantly here statements to the effect of, “I had no idea there was a program like you around,” and “I’ve been needing something like this for the longest time and am so glad we found each other.” 

The Elville Center needs your support to further its important work and help develop new relationships that are depending on the charity. Every one of the refurbished instruments and equipment the Elville Center provides music programs along with educational initiatives we support are not possible without donor support. We need those instruments that you don’t use anymore and are taking up space. 

And, most importantly, we need your monetary support to help refurbish those instruments, purchase supplies, and facilitate cultural learning experiences for student musicians in need.

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, all donations made to the Elville Center are tax-deductible, and as we start off the new year, now is an ideal time to consider donations for tax deduction purposes – start the year off on the right foot!  To learn even more about the Elville Center for the Creative Arts, please visit www.elvillecenter.org, contact Jeff Stauffer at jeff@elvillecenter.org, or call 443-676- 9691. Or, to donate through Paypal or Venmo (@elvillecenter), visit www.elvillecenter/donate. We value and appreciate your support!

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From left to right, Executive Director Jeff Stauffer delivering instruments to Monarch Academy’s Christine Brimhall, Germantown Elementary’s Andrew Ritenour, and Bodkin Elementary’s Carol Cox.

Posted

By:  Jeffrey D. Stauffer – Executive Director – Elville Center for the Creative Arts, Inc.

Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting Mrs. Asgerdur Sigurdardottir, president of the Baltimore Classical Guitar Society.  Did you know that Baltimore is a hub for amazing classical guitar in the world and is home to one of the greatest classical guitarists in the world, Manuel Barrueco?

The Baltimore Classical Guitar Society offers many events, competitions, programs and concerts throughout the year.  It also offers a groundbreaking “Guitars for Change” program for at-risk youths we’ve discussed in previous charity updates and is adding a new pilot program which will be under the umbrella of “Guitars for Change” – tentatively to be named “Guitars for Veterans.”  This new initiative will be in collaboration with Perry Point VA Medical Center in Perry Point, Maryland. 

The program will provide veterans in its outpatient program with free acoustic guitars, lessons and accessories in a 10-week program starting in the spring of 2022.  This program will be offered in both the spring and fall semesters with a summer course as well.  After the veterans complete the 10-week course the guitars will be theirs to keep.

The Elville Center’s Jeff Stauffer and the world famous The Elville Center needs your support to further its important work.

Along with the many classical (nylon-string) guitars the Elville Center has provided the Guitars for Change program over the years, we have begun offering acoustic (steel-string) guitars to the new Guitars for Veterans program.  When I met with Mrs. Sigurdardottir last week I delivered eight fully refurbished acoustic and classical guitars for the benefit of the Guitars for Change and Guitars for Veterans programs.  

If you have a guitar you would like to donate to the Elville Center, we are actively looking for classical and acoustic guitars to benefit the programs mentioned above.  As always, all donations made to the Elville Center are tax-deductible.  

 I wanted to share one more item about the Guitars for Change program that made my day recently.  The following link is a performance by some of the program participants at a recent concert of the beautiful song “Remember Me” from the hit movie “Coco.”  Many of the guitars being used were donated by the Elville Center!  I encourage you to watch – it will be the best three minutes of your day!  You can view it here — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vC-hKrbQmac

On this Giving Tuesday, the Elville Center needs your support to further its important work and help develop new relationships that are depending on the charity.  Every one of the refurbished instruments and equipment the Elville Center provides music programs along with educational initiatives we support are not possible without donor support.  We need those instruments that you don’t use anymore and are taking up space.  And, most importantly, we need your monetary support to help refurbish those instruments, purchase supplies, and facilitate cultural learning experiences for student musicians in need.  As a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, all donations made to the Elville Center are tax-deductible, and as we approach the end of the year, now is an ideal time to consider those end of year donations for tax deduction purposes.  To learn more about the Elville Center for the Creative Arts, please visit www.elvillecenter.org, contact me at jeff@elvillecenter.org, or call 443-676-9691. Or, to donate through Paypal or Venmo (@elvillecenter), visit www.elvillecenter/donate.  We value and appreciate your support!

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By:  Jeffrey D. Stauffer, Executive Director – Elville Center for the Creative Arts, Inc.

 

Do you have an instrument taking up space in a closet or attic not being used anymore?  Perhaps your son or daughter has moved on to other activities and their instrument could use a good home!

As the fall semester in schools is underway, the Elville Center has developed many new school partnerships that have many, many needs for instruments for students that want to participate in band or orchestra but don’t have the means to do so on their own.  And, that’s where the Elville Center and you come in.

The Elville Center for the Creative Arts depends on people like you to donate musical instruments we then refurbish so they’re like new before we get them in the hands of student musicians in music programs we support in local schools.  We also fund other educational initiatives in schools as well as in organizations such as the Columbia Orchestra and The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, to name just a couple.  Virtually all instruments are gladly accepted – clarinets, trumpets, saxophones, violins, bassoons, flutes, guitars, cellos, baritones – and everything in between (no pianos or recorders, though – sorry!)

The Elville Center is a small charity and we work hard to make a difference in the communities we serve.  Typically, an instrument can cost  anywhere between $75 and $200 to refurbish.  And, as a small charity, we ask anyone looking to donate an instrument to consider making a monetary donation of $50 or more to help with the cost to refurbish the instrument and/or purchase necessary items such as a new case, new mouthpieces, reeds and other supplies.  If this is something you’re willing and able to do, it would be most appreciated and make a tremendous difference; however, if it is not, you’re still welcome to donate the instrument and it will find a good home with one

of our school music partners.

If you’re willing and able to donate, you can do so by visiting here — https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=TPBET4HBSGC6W

which is the donation page on our website.

 

The one instrument we are not accepting at this time are pianos, and this is for many reasons.  To learn how you can donate your piano, please view our suggestions on our website here.

Lastly, if you’d like the Elville Center to furnish a tax receipt for your instrument and/or monetary

donation, as a 501(c)(3) non-profit we’re very happy to do so.  The two pieces of

 

information we need to furnish this receipt are your full name and home address (to be used solely for this letter).

You’re welcome to drop off the instrument at our office, which is located within the office of Elville and Associates, P.C., an estate planning, elder law, and special needs planning firm based in Columbia.  The charity was founded by the firm’s Managing Principal and Lead Attorney, Stephen Elville.  I, Executive Director Jeffrey Stauffer, also work for the firm as its Community Relations Director.

To donate or for more information, please contact me at jeff@elvillecenter.org, or at 443-676-9691.  You can also fill out a contact form on our website home page by clicking here.

Thank you again for your interest in the Elville Center for the Creative Arts and have a wonderful day!  We value your support!

 

With appreciation,

 

Jeffrey D. Stauffer

Executive Director

Elville Center for the Creative Arts, Inc.

7100 Columbia Gateway Drive, Suite 190 Columbia, Maryland 21046

P:  443-393-7696 (Main)

E:  jeff@elvillecenter.org

W:  jeff@elvillecenter.org

 

 

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By: Jeffrey D. Stauffer – Executive Director – Elville Center for the Creative Arts, Inc.

“Music enhances the education of our children by helping them to make connections and broadening the depth with which they think and feel. If we are to hope for a society of culturally literate people, music must be a vital part of our children’s education.” – Yo-Yo Ma

As the Elville Center for the Creative Arts approaches its six-year anniversary in June, the foundation of its mission remains the same as we work to “Make a Musical Difference in the Lives of Children” each day 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 school music programs and local businesses 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. The Elville Center refurbishes donated musical instruments, purchases new instruments for programs, provides rental instruments, offers support to develop music programs, partners with professional symphonies and other organizations to fund music education initiatives, and much more.

Due to COVID, now more than ever the support of interested clients and community members like you is critical to the Elville Center’s continued ability to keep music alive, and in many cases, help restore music to schools and the thousands of student musicians in Maryland that aren’t afforded the opportunities they desire to participate in music. School music programs are being defunded, and countless programs in existence don’t have the necessities to function properly to give student musicians the experiences they deserve. Teachers do not have their own money to pour into their programs to pay for needed equipment, supplies, and instruments. With COVID having affected schools since early 2020, music programs have been deemphasized even more with music teachers having to find creative ways to offer music remotely and in person. As schools prepare for full-time in person learning in the fall, the Elville Center is being counted on to support our school music partners so they are fully prepared for a successful fall semester.

Since our last update, the Elville Center has been busy strengthening current relationships and building new ones as we work to assist as many music programs and student musicians as possible. Some of our stories are below. And to reiterate – these stories would not be possible without donations from people like you who support organizations like the Elville Center!

The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra Sponsorship and Educational Initiatives

For a fifth consecutive season, the Elville Center is continuing its support as a major sponsor of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, a professional orchestra in Annapolis based in the historic Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. In 2019, the Center’s sponsorship paid for the bus transportation and tickets for 625 children, all from Title 1 schools, to attend the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Concerts for School- 22 children. The Symphony performs annual education concerts for more than 2,600 elementary schoolchildren from Anne Arundel County Public Schools. Taking place during the school day, these educational performances expose students to symphonic music in a theater setting, regardless of their socio-economic status. The Symphony strives to introduce elementary schoolchildren to live music performed by a professional orchestra; to teach students about the four instrument families; to engage young listeners with multi-media elements, such as theater, dance, magic or puppetry; and to reinforce that music is fun and accessible. Continuing our funding for this ASO’s educational initiative is our largest and arguably most important venture of the year, as it positively affects so many underprivileged students and directly fulfills our mission to give children the opportunity to experience cultural events related to music they never would have experienced otherwise.

The Annapolis Symphony Academy

As an offshoot to our relationship with the ASO, the Elville Center was recently introduced to the Annapolis Symphony Academy. Led by Founder and Director Netanel Draiblate, the

Academy’s mission is to provide high-level music education to students of all cultural and economic backgrounds, while addressing the under-representation of minority musicians in the classical music field.

According to the Academy’s “Model for Diversity” on its website, “Half of the Annapolis Symphony Academy student body is comprised of underrepresented minorities (in today’s U.S. orchestras) in a model that emphasizes interaction and mutual respect. Regardless of a student’s cultural background, and through the incredible generosity of our donors, the Academy awards up to fifty percent of its annual tuition revenue in need-based scholarships. We believe this model provides a truly diverse student body, as it merges two overlapping, yet nonidentical, concepts of equality onto one program. Students are selected for the program strictly based on merit as well as their drive to learn and become better musicians.”

Beginning in June, the Elville Center will be providing high-level donated refurbished musical instruments of all kinds to support the Academy’s mission and student musicians as they pursue their musical dreams through this groundbreaking educational opportunity.

Wiley H. Bates Middle School

The Elville Center continues to partner with its good friends at Bates Middle School, led by Director of Bands Dr. Maximus Vanderbeek and Orchestral Program Director Ms. Kirsten Taylor. This longstanding partnership is important as the instruments we provide Dr. Vanderbeek are divided among Bates Middle’s feeder elementary schools, expanding our reach to hundreds of additional student musicians in Anne Arundel County. Along with our continuing monthly financial support of its guest artist/student teacher program, over the past several months the Elville Center has provided Bates with over 20 instruments for the school’s large band program and Performing Visual Arts Program, and has begun to offer instruments to its orchestral program as well. A beautiful cello, a long-sought euphonium, tuba, violins, trumpets, flutes, and a rare cornet with a remarkable sound are now in the hands of Bates’ student musicians as music resonates through its halls in preparation for its next performance in the fall.

The Elville Center also orchestrated the delivery of a fine Roland KR-7 digital piano to Bates in May, which was donated to the charity by a former music instructor at Loyola University. While pianos are not typically something we delve into at the charity, when there is a need from one of our partners and an opportunity presents itself, the Elville Center will make it happen! “

At Wiley H. Bates Middle School here in Annapolis, we have benefitted greatly from the Elville Center for the Creative Arts donations,” noted Dr. Vanderbeek. “They generously have donated over 100 (!) various instruments to our Music Department (and we have a great need for these). Anne Arundel County Public Schools and our Bates community are extremely grateful for these. In addition, they professionally refurbish each instrument before they deliver it to us, and that is a key difference from other donated instruments. Please picture a 6th grade trumpet or violin student here being handed a nice trumpet in excellent working condition; because of the Elville Creative Center for the Creative Arts, this happens for all our music students here at Bates. We are so appreciative of this partnership for these reasons and many, many more.”

REACH! Partnership

In one of our most important endeavors to date, this April the Elville Center reconnected with the REACH! Partnership, a Baltimore City charter school whose band program is in its relative infancy; however, this does not mean the dreams and desire to enhance its students’ lives with music is not there – because it is with wholehearted enthusiasm! Hard work has been poured into the school’s band and choral programs over the past three years as they continue to grow scope and sound each year. The Elville Center recognizes this and wants to be part of the movement that is REACH! Partnership Music! With the assistance of the school’s remarkable Community Engagement Coordinator, Ms. Rhonda McKinney, the Elville Center delivered a large donation of instruments and supplies to the school, which included a five-piece Tama swingstar and ride drum set with high hat and crash

symbols; a Peavy amp; three Fender guitars with attachments for the amp; two trumpets; two clarinets and a flute.

In May, the Elville Center received information regarding how it can support the school’s choral program as well, so our donation to the school as the fall semester begins will include support for not only the band but the choral program as well. Mr. Dick Clark, band director at the school, remarked, “Music is the soundtrack of Life! When music programs were removed from schools as part of the curriculum or even as an extracurricular activity, we lost that soundtrack from our students. We missed that sound of creativity of art through various instruments and even in voice. It has always been the dream and desire of my principal, Dr. James Gresham, to have a music program at our school where we can bring that sound back to life!”

“Thanks to Mr. Stephen Elville, Mr. Jeff Stauffer and to the support of the Elville Center for the Creative Arts, this dream has now become a reality! We have a brand new 21st-century building with a music room, where we can now not only teach our students how to play various instruments but to learn how to appreciate music as an art. We have a choir that made their debut at our Christmas program in 2019! They have been going strong ever since! We appreciate the generous donations and are excited about hearing that soundtrack of life throughout our building.” Ms. McKinney continued with her thoughts about the importance of partnerships such as that of the Elville Center to REACH! Partnership’s growth and success, saying, “It is with sincere appreciation and a grateful heart that we say thank you for supporting the mission of the REACH Partnership School. We are excited about your contribution to support our students and staff. Your contribution of the musical instruments and other musical supplies has allowed us to better serve our school community. Having supportive partnerships is essential to the success of our Community School model. Our partnership remains 24 a promising vehicle in our collective efforts to servethe needs of our students and their families.”

The Columbia Orchestra

The Elville Center is proud to support the Columbia Orchestra’s Young People’s Concert for a fifth consecutive year. This year’s Concert took place on May 22nd at the Chrysalis amphitheater in downtown Columbia and was a hit with the kids and their families as it has been for years. A wonderful way to introduce children of all ages to music and the Orchestra, an ensemble, dancers from Dance Connections, and narrator Greg Jukes performed Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf! In addition, music from Moana, The Wizard of Oz, and more was enjoyed by all.

Germantown, West Annapolis, and Annapolis Elementary Schools

Not only is Dr. Vanderbeek at Bates Middle a valued partner of the Elville Center, he is a great referral partner as well, having suggested we reach out to Mr. Andrew Ritenour, Band Director at the three above-mentioned schools. In speaking with Mr. Ritenour, he shared with me some information about his programs, including the challenges COVID has presented over the past year. His schools serve high-poverty neighborhoods, and this year he had half the number of band students he would have in a typical year. Instruments are always needed at his schools, as students’ families typically don’t have the resources available to rent them. As we receive our next batch of donated refurbished instruments from our valued partner, Music & Arts Center of Severna Park, as he’s asked, we’ve assured Mr. Ritenour to expect a delivery of trumpets and saxophones for his bands, as well as violins for the orchestral program at his schools.

“My students and I are grateful for the instruments you send our way!” noted Mr. Ritenour. “Thank you so much for all you’re doing to put instruments in the hands of students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to play – sometimes their participation in these groups is the primary reason they want to come to school!”

The Elville Center needs your support to further its important work and help develop new relationships that are depending on the charity. Every one of the refurbished instruments and equipment the Elville  Center provides music programs along with educational initiatives we support are not possible without donor support. We need those instruments that you don’t use anymore and are taking up space. And, most importantly, we need your monetary support to help refurbish those instruments, purchase supplies, and facilitate cultural learning experiences for student musicians in need. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, all donations made to the Elville Center are tax-deductible. To donate or learn more about the Elville Center for the Creative Arts, please visit www. elvillecenter.org, contact Jeff Stauffer at jeff@elvillecenter.org, or call 443-676-9691. We value and appreciate your support!

“Music is a more potent instrument than any other for education, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul.” Plato

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By:  Jeffrey D. Stauffer – Executive Director, Elville Center for the Creative Arts, Inc.

Wednesday was a great day for the Elville Center for the Creative Arts, and most importantly the school music programs and student musicians we support!

 Executive Director Jeff Stauffer and Audio-Visual Specialist Lucille Elville began their travels early in the morning, and their first stop was Germantown Elementary, a new partnership we’ve developed over the past few months.  We met Band and Orchestral Director Andrew Ritenour and delivered several trumpets, a beautiful cornet, a baritone, and a couple saxophones to benefit the student musicians in his programs.  

 Our next stop was around the corner to longtime partner and friend of the Elville Center Ms. Christine Brimhall, Instrumental Music Director at Monarch Academy Annapolis.  This was my fifth visit to Monarch over the years but Ms. Brimhall’s and my paths never have crossed until today!  She is a busy, busy teacher taking care of her young, budding student musicians.  Lucy and I delivered flutes, saxophones, and trumpets to her program today.  She couldn’t have been happier, and the same could be said for Lucy and me!

Our final stop took us up the road to Pasadena for a reunion with Ms. Carol Cox, who I hadn’t seen in a couple years as she’d transitioned to a new school, Bodkin Elementary, home of the Bulldogs.  As she always does, Ms. Cox invited us into her classroom where she had every type of instrument laid out on the floor where students have been busy trying them out as they decide which instrument they’d like to begin playing this year.  She mentioned the students were extremely excited to be back in the classrooms in person and to get started playing their instruments over the next week.  It was wonderful to see her as she is a bundle of positive energy.  It’s no wonder her students adore her so very much.  We dropped off five clarinets, a saxophone, and a couple trumpets to benefit her program. 

 Having Lucy there to document the day with some great pictures of me with these hardworking, dedicated teachers was extra special.  I will never, ever go on another visit to drop off instruments without Lucy by my side!

Earlier in the week, our good friend Dr. Max Vanderbeek of Wiley H. Bates Middle stopped by our office on his way to work – around 6:30 in the morning – to pick up several instruments we had waiting for him.  He left with a cello, a violin, a beautiful silver Bach trumpet, a few silver Geimenhardt flutes, and a saxophone for his very successful and growing Performing Visual Arts and Orchestral Programs.

On November 1st Elville Center founder Stephen Elville and I will be visiting the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and its educational program, the Annapolis Symphony Academy, to discuss our partnership with them and learn more about their plans for this fiscal year.    

I wish every day could be like Wednesday – but that is why we put the hard work in – to have days like that.  And, we simply cannot do it without your instrument donations and monetary support to refurbish those instruments so they’re like new when we deliver them to our school music partners.  We also regularly need to purchase new cases, mouthpieces, bows, and other equipment to supplement these instruments.  Please consider supporting the Elville Center today by donating here to help make more days like Wednesday a reality!  We have many, many instruments being refurbished right now and need your support to continue to “Make a Musical Difference in the Lives of Children” each day.  

Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t say I was so fortunate to meet and spend a little bit of time with four hardworking, dedicated teachers this week.  These teachers spend their own money to make a difference in their students’ lives, work long hours, and care deeply about their students and the work they do.  Next time you have the opportunity, be sure to thank a teacher for the work they do!   

Until next time, thank you for your continued support and interest in the Elville Center for the Creative Arts!

#keepmusicalive #makingadifference #schoolmusic

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By: Stephen R. Elville – President and Founder of the Elville Center for the Creative Arts, Inc.

Good news is rare these days, but not at the Elville Center for the Creative Arts. The Elville Center is boldly continuing its work in 2021 to provide much needed musical instruments, music lessons, art- and dance-related activities, and cultural experiences to children and schools throughout Maryland.  How big is the need?  Huge.  

How many teachers, schools, and children need help?  Hundreds and thousands.  How much work is there to do?  A lifetime’s worth. How are these projects being funded? Through generous individual donations of instruments and funds to refurbish those instruments, monthly donations, and annual charitable contributions.  What is needed now? A $1 million charitable endowment to permanently fund the Elville Center that will turbo charge an expansion effort to affect many more children’s lives and reconstitute the music programs of many schools whose programs have been decimated or eliminated.

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, the Elville Center needs your support to achieve its goal of an initial $1 charitable million endowment so that its mission and vision may be perpetuated, expanded throughout Maryland, and nationally. if you would like to contribute to or discuss a charitable endowment the Elville Center, or if you would like to volunteer your services, please contact Executive Director Jeffrey Stauffer at 443-393-7696 x117, or at jeff@elvilleassociates.com.  If you would like to speak with the Elville Center’s founder, Stephen Elville, please contact his Legal Administrator, Mary Guay Kramer, at mary@elvilleassociates.com.

 

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By:  Jeffrey Stauffer – Executive Director

The Elville Center was privileged to deliver some donated refurbished instruments to our fine longtime partners at Wiley H. Bates Middle School in Annapolis in November and December!  These instruments will help support the student musician’s in the performing visual arts school’s band and orchestral programs. The first picture shows new Assistant Principal Mike Ballard, Band Director Maximus Vanderbeek, and the Elville Center’s Executive Director Jeff Stauffer, with the second picture showing Dr. Vanderbeek.

During the pandemic, the Elville Center has seen an unprecedented number of instrument donations as many people have taken time to clean out closets, attics, and declutter their homes.  While this has significantly increased our inventory and afforded the Elville Center the opportunity to donate to various schools and programs in the area, the reality is it is also very expensive to refurbish so many instruments.  If you donate an instrument, please consider further supporting the Elville Center by donating monetarily to help offset some of the cost to refurbish your instrument donation.  It will go a long way towards helping the charity continue our mission of “Making a Musical Difference in the Lives of Children” each day!