January, 2014


The new year begins with lots of news about student performances, playathons, and awards that make teachers, parents, and those working with the MusicLink Foundation very proud! It is an appropriate time to thank our donors, who provide consistent support to help us bring ongoing lessons, instruments, music, and opportunities to our special MusicLink students.

Many states are joining in the "win-win" Playathon events that bring joy to students performing in malls, stores, and studios and help our kids as well. Check out our Facebook page for videos of these events as well as our Teacher of Month feature that lets you see how these wonderful teachers personally make a difference in the lives of these children.

MusicLink on Facebook     Donate Now

I Love a Piano!

What happens when a donated piano arrives at the home of three MusicLink students? Here, five-year-old Alejandro "plays" with their freshly delivered piano, thanks to a Georgia donor and coordinator Nora Martin:

Video of Alejandro

Silvia Alas

From New York teacher, Helena Almberg: I would like you to know that the piano has made a difference in the potential musician I saw in Silvia. It made it possible for that potential to flourish and grow. Silvia is thriving as a pianist, her practice time has increased two-fold, her excitement as a player is contagious and her smile every time she comes to lessons is the best "thank you" I could ever expect."

Our Thanks to Donors for
Giving Tuesday and Annual Giving

The MusicLink Foundation took part in a national day of donations through Razoo Foundation's Giving Tuesday event on December 3rd. We raised over $8,500 thanks to a matching grant by Bill and Brigid Brakefield, our first MusicLink Legacy Partners.

Total donations from our ongoing supporters and foundation grants topped $30,000 over the past few months. We are pleased to see every donation from those who support our efforts year after year, online or through checks in response to our Annual Report. Thanks!

The MusicLink Foundation Board established itself as a MusicLink Legacy Partner, donating over $5000 as a group this year, with annual donations equal or over this amount in the future. Our thanks to William Haroutounian, Joanne Haroutounian, Martha Smith, Charles Kinney, Sue Wege, Grace Jean, and Virginia Gutierrez.

Kids Helping Kids -
MusicLink Benefit Events!

Joanne Haroutounian
and Kathryn Tobey


Students enjoyed performing and raising pledges in a variety of states and in a variety of ways, always having fun in the process. Funds raised help bring lessons, instruments, music, and camp scholarships to our MusicLink students. For details on how to hold a playathon in your community, click on the button below:

Playathon Instructions

LA: Kathryn Tobey held a Benefit Recital in her studio and raised $410 for the MusicLink Foundation.

MO: Our thanks to Nathaneal May for holding a performance fundraiser, raising $51 for MusicLink.

NY: Tami Levy, Marjorie Waxenberg and Helena Almberg and the students of Patricia Cestaro held a fund raiser in December at the Faust Harrison Piano store in Huntington New York. The students also collected for the local food pantry and Toys for Tots. This multi-charity event was great fun and quite successful, raising $670 for the MusicLink Foundation. Nicolina Cassisi raised over $100 for MusicLink. Fun was had by all!

Niccolina Cassisi

Students at the New York Playathon

VA: The Celebration Singers of Woodbridge collected $707.14 in contributions through their concert season, designating the MusicLink Foundation as a worthy charity.

The Fairfax-Loudon Music Fellowship continued its annual holiday playathon at the Dulles Town Center, with 183 students representing 16 teachers raising a whopping $2,500 - a great event organized by Sandy Baker. This amount was doubled through the Giving Tuesday event.

Fairfax-Loudoun Students Performing

IL: Illinois MusicLink Coordinator, Deborah Meier organized a Clavinova Festival at Piano Distributors in Fairview Heights, featuring performances by 15 students from 2 participating teachers. The event raised $550 for the MusicLink Foundation. A big thank you to Yamaha and Piano Distributors for sponsoring this successful event! Manager Steven Trawford organized the festival and plans to continue this yearly event. We appreciate his willingness to collaborate with MusicLink through Gateway Arch East MTA.

Students received a t-shirt, certificate, and a goodie bag containing treats, a lanyard, and sunglasses. Each student was entered into the grand prize drawing for a Yamaha keyboard (P-105).

Kalissa Wasser

Molly Grohmann, student of LeAnn Halvorson, was the lucky winner and is very excited to replace the small keyboard that she has been using for practice.

One student, Kalissa Wasser, raised $100 in donations to MusicLink. Thanks to all the participants who raised funds through pledges for these performances and promoted MusicLink by "kids helping kids!"

Senior Receives Collegiate Award

Lauren Maurer and Sherry Frush

Lauren Maurer, a former MusicLink student of Sherry Frush received $2000 as the 2013 Collegiate Award from the Texas Music Teachers Educational Foundation. Lauren has a long history of involvement in MTNA, TMTA and AMTA events and was pianist at her church and on staff at the Frush Music Studio since 2005. Lauren is currently a senior performance major at Hardin-Simmons University and has a long-range goal of teaching at the university level. "I really feel that my calling is to teach, while still having the opportunity to perform. I cannot imagine a better future than this."

Guitar Auctions at State Theater

Joanne Haroutounian and Bronwyn Towle enjoyed a few nights of great rock and roll music while providing a chance for the State Theater (Falls Church, VA) audience to own a guitar signed by the Hard Working Americans and the John K Band. The raffles raised a total of $960 for the MusicLink Foundation. Our thanks to Leila Habib and Brennan Giuffre for their hospitality and support in bringing this opportunity to their theater.


New Teachers and Business Partners

The MusicLink Foundation added 23 new teachers since our Annual Report: AL: Rebecca Osberg; CA: Terri Casia, Jami Piper; MA: Julie Boris; MI: Carita Farmer Hughes; MN: Brad Draper, Miguel Hurtado, Prudence Johnson, Corissa Leonard, Joshua Parlanti, Melinda Peterson, Mary Kaye Rabaey, Rachel Revennaugh, Mary Ann Weis (returning); MO: Sarah Cool; ND: James Adams, Robin Allebach, Christopher Redfearn; OH: Krysti Schey; OR: Huong Phan; VA: Marlene C. Miles, Tyler Sinclair; WA: Rebecca Hedman.

Marcia Wilke (WA) and Anna Kroik (NJ) were inadvertently left off of our active teacher list in our Annual Report - our apologies.

We also welcome Piano Distributors (IL) and Right Brain Music (AZ) as new MusicLink Business Partners.

In Memoriam

Marie Ann Vos, a MusicLink teacher from Crystal Lakes IL passed away at the age of 75 from complications brought on by Parkinson's disease. She was the founder of the McHenry County Music Center and Youth Orchestra and helped introduce the Suzuki method of teaching music to the area. Her son, Thomas, explains that "between her voice studio and music center, she has touched hundreds, if not thousands of lives. One of her doctors who helped her took lessons from her." She will surely be missed by her many students and colleagues.


Forward this newsletter to a friend.       www.musiclinkfoundation.org