The end of the school year is a time to reflect on accomplishments
of the year and evaluate how we are doing as an organization and
how our students are progressing as young musicians.
This issue features student awards and accomplishments as well
as another teacher/student profile that clarifies what this program
is all about.
New business partners are bringing discounts, donations, and opportunities
to teachers and students. Fund-raising events are raising awareness
of MusicLink to communities across the country.
Statistically, we have reached the milestone of offering $5 million
in scholarship lessons thanks to teachers donating over 220,000
hours of instruction. Student totals are above 3,000 and teacher
totals above 1,000.
A good accounting for the year with each link beginning with one
student, one teacher, and one nominator, 1+1+1.
Justin Kauflin - MusicLink Alumnus
Performs at the Kennedy Center
Justin Kauflin with his sister and Joanne Haroutounian
What happens to our MusicLink students once they graduate high
school? Justin Kauflin, a MusicLink student who studied with Virginia
Koun of Virginia Beach VA for 8 years has enjoyed an ongoing career
as a jazz pianist, starting in high school and continuing through
his college years at William Paterson University. He graduates
in May with a degree in Jazz Performance.
Despite the loss of his vision at age 10, Justin has continually
focused on his abilities in music and academics while honing his
art in jazz piano. In high school, he performed in the Vail Jazz
festival as well as at the Blue Note, Village Vanguard, and Jazz
at the Lincoln Center in NYC. He performed at Betty Carter's Jazz
Ahead Residency in DC and his trio performed a full recital at
the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater as part of the Very Special
Arts weekend festival in 2007. Justin is a fine example of
MusicLink's mission to "create musicians, one student at a time."
To see where he is performing next, log onto
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has extended its support beyond
the original three year grant period to support the MusicLink
Foundation for a fourth year with a $50,000 grant that covers
personnel expenses, training and recruitment, and consultant fees.
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation will have provided a total of
$283,000 all told to MusicLink. This fundamental support has allowed
MusicLink to expand enrollment by 70%, establish a fluid communication
system through our website hub and regional coordination, and
promote visibility of MusicLink nationwide through convention
presence and DVD/CD distribution.
We deeply appreciate our relationship with this foundation and
their mutual mission to promote the ongoing development of talent
of students in need. We are so proud that four of our MusicLink
students were winners of prestigious Jack Kent Cooke scholarship
awards worth $10,000-$20,000 over the past three years. These
students were Kevin Lu (VA), Andrea Johnson (OR), Stephanie Duong
(CA), and Vanessa Woodard (WA).
The Dimick Foundation has provided a grant for $2,500 specifically
for the Washington DC MusicLink program which partners with the
Atlas Performing Arts Center in the Northeast inner city of DC
providing lessons in guitar, keyboard, and percussion.
Virginia Seniors Receive
Khand Sukhee and Rene Johnson
Khand Sukhee, a graduate of Washington-Lee High School in Arlington
VA and MusicLink student of René Johnson, received the $1,000
Marilyn Costello Award of Excellence. This award was established
by Daniel Dannenbaum assisted by Serena Lowe in honor of Marilyn
Costello, principal harpist of the Philadelphia Orchestra for
many years. Khand, born in Ulaan Bataar, has studied piano through
MusicLink for four years and plans to attend Brigham Young University
seeking a degree in nursing.
Diana Fang with Martha Smith
Diana Fang, a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science
and Technology, received the $5,000 Henry D. Kirkpatrick Award
for excellence in MusicLink study. Diana has studied piano through
MusicLink with Martha Smith for the past 9 years. The award was
established by Martha Smith in honor of her brother and his love
of music. Diana will be attending the University of Virginia,
majoring in architecture.
Fund Raising Ideas Abound
The Gretsch Family Foundation is interested in working with the
MusicLink Foundation across the country with fund-raising events
that feature Gretsch guitars professionally transformed locally
into Guitar Art that can be auctioned off at local events to raise
money for the MusicLink Foundation.
We thank Janet Townsend for working with the Northern VA and DC
MusicLink programs and providing six guitars that will be transformed
into art-pieces by professional artists in the area, as well as
a vintage Gretsch guitar that will be autographed and auctioned.
Nancy Carter, MusicLink board member and event planner,
is designing a buffet and entertainment in the Fall 08 to feature
this wonderful Guitar Art.
www.guitarart.org for details
on how your local MusicLink program can take advantage of our
Gretsch business connection for fund-raising.
Our grass-roots approach to fund-raising for MusicLink brings
out the creative juices in different communities.
Julie Wegener of Dutchess Community College's MusicLink program
organized a sing-a-thon which literally had folks walking the
streets in her town singing, with pledges for these performances.
She expanded to include a play-a-thon with accompanist the following
Eric Reinhardt of Phoenixville PA attended this year's event for
Dutchess, which featured a filming of "Honeydripper" followed
by music student performances. He was inspired by this experience
and organized a similar event in his community, selling MusicLink
totebags and providing brochures to spread the word about the
program. He plans to begin a MusicLink program in Phoenixville
this school year.
Promise to Practice is growing in popularity in studios, music
schools, and mall events, as a way for kids to practice, play
and help our MusicLink kids in the process. Our thanks to Patti
Nyien of Westmont IL, Betsy Erickson of Kennett Square PA, Susan
Brown of Woodstock GA and Nancy Davis of Springfield VA for enjoying
good practice in their studios through Promise to Practice. Together,
these studios raised almost $1000 for MusicLink. Congratulations
to David Jacob (an adult student/teacher), Keri Flynn, and Cara Mingo
all from the Davis Studio, who received MP3 players for raising
over $200 each during the event. All students receive a "success"
pin and those raising over $25 receive a MusicLink tote bag. Adult
students as well as teacher studios and music schools may want
to give it a try as a summer project. Promise to Practice packets
are available through our website. Click on the "Support Us" tab.
MusicLink Student Wins Morton Gould Composition Competition
Yuri Boguinia of Longmont CO was chosen as one of the winners
of the prestigious ASCAP Morton Gould Composition Competition.
The competition recognizes and encourages talented young creators
of concert music from across the world. There were 32 recipients
out of 600 submissions, with only 9 winners in the young composer
category (ages 6 - 18).
A multiple talent, 17 year-old Yuri studies violin Keynes Chen
and composition with Daniel Kellogg at Colorado University at
Yuri also won first place in the Pikes Peak Composition Competition,
which features a performance of his Ukrainian Dance with the Colorado
Springs Philharmonic Orchestra. Yuri was the recipient of last
year's Alfred Talent Search Camp Scholarship and received assistance
for student travel from MusicLink for the Gould award acceptance.
The MusicLink Foundation has also provided Yuri with a violin
and viola thanks to donations from Eastman Strings and a private
Yuri with composer John Corigliano
A Generous Gift of Music
from Frederick Harris
The Celebration series by Frederick Harris will be getting a new
edition printing which is good news for MusicLink. This generous
MusicLink business partner provided the remainder of the Celebration
series to the MusicLink Foundation for use by our teachers and
students. Sue Wege, Midwest MusicLink coordinator, received 23
boxes of music, worth approximately $23,000 that will be distributed
to MusicLink programs across the country. Our sincere thanks
to Christine Sharp and Laura Copfer for this wonderful
musical learning opportunity for our students.
Teachers and coordinators can contact
details on sending boxes to local programs.
We are also fortunate to have free and discounted music available
to MusicLink students from most major publishing companies including
Alfred, FJH, Hal Leaonard, Kjos, Schaum, and Willis through our
Discount List provided to every new MusicLink teacher.
MusicLink on the Web
The MusicLink Foundation is getting more presence on different
websites because of the opportunities we provide to promising
students in need. We invite you to log onto the following websites
and add your personal comments, stories of students, etc. to provide
more information for the web-browsing public:
We also offer a MusicLink Charity Badge to add to your website whose
code can be downloaded from our website (click on support us).
We are looking for interested web-folks who can help us grow our
internet visibility through My Space, You Tube, etc. If anyone
has interest in helping us with internet connections, please email
My Wonderful MusicLink Journey - Tamara Slobodkin (Suffolk NY)
For the past nine years, I have been lucky enough and able enough
to participate in the MusicLink program which matches deserving
students unable to afford music lessons with private teachers who
are able to teach for half or less of their normal fee. With our
children all grown and doing well, my husband and I felt that it
was time to give back some of the resources we have to those who
might not be able to study on their own. So I embarked on this wonderful
journey that has not only given me ideas and support from the organization
itself and its founder, Joanne Haroutounian, but has gifted me with
wonderful students, the latest of whom are the remarkable Millings
family. I thought you might like to read their own comments about
what music means to them.
(mother): I have been blessed to have the gift of music
in my home. With five children learning the piano and violin, there
was always someone playing an instrument. Because we homeschool,
it was convenient to schedule their practice in the midst of our
school day. Piano practice began at 8 am, with each child taking
turns practicing for 1 « to 2 hours, depending on their level of
piano proficiency. During NYSSMA audition and Guild months, the
piano would be going all day long.
Every year I have one condition - one month long vacation from music
in July. It was not a popular decision, but it provided a month
of quiet, a chance to listen to recorded music rather than playing
and a time to get refreshed for the next school year of music.
(22 - Doctoral student in math at Stony Brook Un.): From
my earliest recollections, I have enjoyed music as a means of rich
and varied communication. I began piano at a young age and quickly
grew to love the instrument and its classical literature. I was
able to continue my studies through college and I am now developing
my musicianship on my own. I hope to work with a classical ensemble
group and will always enjoy bringing beauty to people's lives through
(19 - chemistry major in college): Whatever I do, I know
that music will always be an important part of my life, whether
attending concerts, playing the violin with orchestras, or singing
in choirs. I still enjoy the unrivaled beauty and joy that comes
from playing solo piano, and look forward to some accompanying in
the future. My dream is that my siblings and I will someday form
our own chamber group so we can share among ourselves and communicate
to others our love of music.
(17 - pursuing a degree in science or architecture): Music
has always been an important part of my life. By the time I was
eight, my daily practice was a regular part of my school day. Much
to my surprise, I early discovered that I loved to practice. The
most rewarding part of studying music is to practice a phrase until
it sings, that magical moment in a music practice when all of a
sudden it all comes together. I enjoy taking a dramatic, little-known
piece of music and expressing those emotions to my audience.
(14): Music has always been a part of my life. I can't
remember a day going by without one of my sisters taking a few pokes
at the piano, my mother singing me to sleep, or my father breaking
into song at different moments.
My family was blessed to meet Mrs. Tamara Slobodkin who was willing
to give music lessons to all of us. Since then, piano playing has
changed from being a daily chore to becoming a part of my life.
I believe every child should have the chance that I had - to be
exposed to and learn to love music.
(13): Music has always been a way for me to express myself.
It gives me a sense of responsibility and achievement and I am inspired
to challenge myself with higher goals. I hope that I will always
be surrounded by music and will continue to share it with others.
Needless to say, working with these wonderful youngsters
and their parents has given me great joy and a sense of satisfaction;
it's a special gift we can give and receive.