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