By:  Jeffrey D. Stauffer – Director,, 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  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)


By:  Jeffrey D. Stauffer – Director, 443-393-7696,

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!


By:  Jeffrey Stauffer, Director – 443-676-9691,

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!”



In early January, Ms. Denise Schneider, a 2nd-grade teacher at Halethorpe Elementary, contacted The Elville Center after she was referred to the charity by a friend whose program received assistance from the Center in 2015.

As an elementary school wanting to introduce its students to music and offer them new cultural experiences, a field trip for its second-graders has been planned to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s production of “Peter and the Wolf” at the Meyerhoff this spring.

Unfortunately, not all of the students are able to afford the cost of the trip.  However, Ms. Schneider contacted The Elville Center and the charity was able to help with the purchase of transportation for the students to the Meyerhoff.

This type of assistance fits perfectly with The Elville Center’s mission of improving the quality of life of children by providing them the opportunity to experience cultural events related to the musical and creative arts.  Should you wish to learn more about how The Elville Center may help your organization or one you know could use assistance, please contact Jeff Stauffer, Director, at, or call 443-393-7696.


Authored by:  Jeffrey Stauffer, Director – 443-393-7696,

The Elville Center for the Creative Arts is proud to sponsor The Columbia Orchestra’s “Young People’s Concert”, scheduled for Saturday, February 20th at 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. at The Jim Rouse Theatre for the Performing Arts in Columbia.

From The Columbia Orchestra’s website — “Join The Columbia Orchestra for a “High Seas Adventure” with musical tales of sea-faring pirates and Sinbad the Sailor!  Narrator Greg Jukes and The Columbia Orchestra’s friends from Dance Connections join the Orchestra for Scheherezade, Pirates of the Caribbean, and more!  Try your hand at playing instruments at the Musical Instrument Petting Zoo, sponsored by Music & Arts.”

The purpose 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.

The Elville Center partners with local and regional businesses, schools and private donors to provide musical instruments, rentals, music lessons and participation in music-related activities for children of all ages.

The Elville Center is actively seeking monetary pledges to support our endeavors, as well as donations of used instruments of any kind.  Donations may be tax-deductible (please consult with your tax advisor).

For more information or to donate, please visit our website at, or contact Jeffrey Stauffer, Director, at or 443-393-7696.


Authored by: Jeffrey D. Stauffer, Executive Director –, 443-393-7696

June 4, 2015 — On Tuesday, January 13th, Stephen R. Elville, President and Founder of The Elville Center for the Creative Arts, met with the administration and teachers of Benjamin Tasker Middle School to provide musical instruments to the school’s students and music department.

The Elville Center is a non-profit corporation that provides musical instruments, musical instrument rental, music lessons, and participation in music-related activities to and for children of all ages throughout Maryland and the mid-Atlantic region.

The partnership between the school and The Elville Center began when Benjamin Tasker 8th-grader Daniel Coleman heard an announcement about The Elville Center while listening to his favorite classical music station, 91.5 WBJC. Daniel took the initiative to contact the station and a partnership blossomed that came to fruition Tuesday with the instrument donation event. However, the partnership does not end there; in fact, it was just the beginning. Plans are underway through The Elville Center for future instrument donations as well as support for the school’s spring musical.

“The Elville Center is extremely pleased and gratified to provide instruments and support to the students and faculty of Benjamin Tasker Middle School,” remarked Mr. Elville. “I am very proud to know student Daniel Coleman, and his mother, PTSO President Ann Marie Coleman, whose dream of musical instruments for all music students at Benjamin Tasker was the impetus for our involvement. I also want to thank the donors of this first flight of instruments whose kindness and vision made this possible. Special thanks also goes to school Principal, Ms. I. Michelle Johnson, along with music teachers, Mr. Kevin Gillis, Mr. Titus Peck and Mr. Aaron Knopp, for their extraordinary dedication and commitment to the students.”

Since its inception in mid-2014, The Elville Center has been working to form partnerships with local and regional businesses, schools and other non-profit organizations interested in suporting its mission, which include current valued partners WBJC, local Music & Arts Centers and The Columbia Orchestra.

Over the months, generous donors have provided instruments ranging from clarinets to violins, flutes to cellos, trumpets and even a rare Hawaiian ukulele. The Elville Center then takes these instruments to its Music & Arts Center partner and pays for their refurbishment so students receive an instrument in excellent condition that The Elville Center is proud to deliver and the students are excited to play.
The delivery of the first wave of instruments was met with much excitement from the PTSO and students at Benjamin Tasker.

“Thank you so very much for the delivery today,” said Mrs. Coleman. “Daniel shared with his last period class the delivery news and by the time he got home I had three text messages from excited students! We look forward to working with The Elville Center in the future to continue the gift of music at Tasker!”

Along with its partnership with Benjamin Tasker Middle, The Elville Center is actively working with other schools and students of all ages to provide the gift of music. Not only does The Elville Center provide instrument donation, it aims to improve the quality of life of children by providing them the opportunity to learn music theory as well as experience cultural events related to the musical and creative arts.

“I hope this event sparks the imaginations of other donors,” remarked Mr. Elville. “We are looking forward to continuing the project of re-equipping the Music Department at Benjamin Tasker and addressing the needs of music students throughout the region.”

If you are interested in The Elville Center For the Creative Arts and would like to learn more, or if you would like to make a donation or pledge, please contact Jeff Stauffer at 443-676-9691 or complete the form below.