January, 2016

Well, 2016 arrived with a blizzard that reached record levels in the DC area, which may be an omen for a record-setting year for MusicLink! We are so thankful to all the donors who joined our online campaign to raise $15,000 during the month of December - only to top our goal with almost $17,000 in donations through our website. This does not include the many loyal friends and supporters who mailed in donations after reading our Annual Report which is distributed in the fall of each year:

Annual Report

Our kids will benefit from instruments, lessons, and camp scholarships through these donations. Our heartfelt thanks to all of you for helping us "create musicians, one student at a time."

This issue features many MusicLink events as well as appreciative smiles from students who have received instruments from the MusicLink Foundation. We encourage you to visit our Facebook page to read and "like" our ongoing Teacher of the Month features as well as the new monthly spotlights for students, businesses and Legacy Partner donors. These articles are also found on the home page of our website:

Website     Facebook Page

Please let us know of any upcoming MusicLink events in your area similar to those featured in this eLINK so we can add them to our events calendar. These may include a MusicLink Promise to Practice event, Playathon or Benefit Recital to encourage students to seek personal goals through practice, share music with the community and help our kids in the process. Details about how to do these events are on our Supporter Info page:

Supporter Info

Major Donors Support MusicLink

The teachers, coordinators and students of the MusicLink Foundation extend appreciation to the following foundations that provide generous contributions to support the mission of MusicLink:

  • City of Fairfax Commission on the Arts: $1,000 to support N. VA MusicLink
  • Masonic Eastern Star Charities DC * Buchley Fund: $2000 to support DC area MusicLink
  • Dimick Foundation: $2000
  • Arline and Russell Bridge Endowment Fund - MusicLink Senior Achievement Award

The following MusicLink Legacy Partners support the MusicLink Foundation on an annual basis, with contributions from $5,000 to $10,000. Details about this program are found on our website for interested donors:

Legacy Partner Info

  • Bill and Brigid Brakefield: $5,000
  • MusicLink Foundation Board: $5,000
  • Louise P. Zanar Fund: $10,000 to support the DC MusicLink program

I Love a Piano
- Thanks to MusicLink!

Kayley And Her New Piano

The look of joy on the faces of our MusicLink students tell it all - they now have a piano in their home to enjoy and practice on for their MusicLink lessons. The MusicLink Foundation receives instrument donations through internet connections and community outreach. Over the past 6 months, a total of 8 pianos, 3 digital pianos or keyboards, and almost $5000 in music were donated and distributed to students in Vermont, Georgia, Arizona, Minnesota, and Virginia. In-kind instrument donation information is found on our website:

How to Participate

Kayley was so excited and grateful to get the piano that she wrote handmade thank you cards to the donor and the whole family came to pick up the piano from the donor. The donor loved her immediately and the warmth of her parents. Her teacher, Nora Martin (GA) shares, "It was humbling and heartwarming to be involved. They are a sweet family and are dedicated to continuing lessons well into the future."

Upon delivery of a baby grand to the home of a MN MusicLink student, a mother explains: "We are just so happy to have this wonderful donation and gift. How much fun to have this instrument - it is in great condition and sounds wonderful! Please know that we truly appreciate this amazing gift and thank you for all your work in coordinating this."

Carrying on the Love of Music

In Memoriam: Dean Bradwell Sheppard, Jr.

Dean Bradwell "Brad" Sheppard, Jr. was a devout percussionist and a member of the First Colonial High School Marching and Jazz Bands in Virginia Beach, VA and also attended the Governor's School for the Arts in Norfolk, VA. He played drums in several rock bands, but he was most dedicated to Nihilitia, a band rooted in Washington, DC. He dreamed of teaching percussion to others. He passed away unexpectedly at the age of 35 on January 3, 2016. Family and friends are making contributions in his name to MusicLink so that other kids will have the same music opportunities that he had. The Memorial Fund for Brad has raised over $1,800 for the MusicLink Foundation. These funds will be designated to the metropolitan DC MusicLink program, and will include camp scholarships in his name for MusicLink students.

MusicLink Events Bring
Music to the Community

The holiday season is a perfect time for bringing music to the community, promoting music lessons through student performance and helping our kids in the process.

Clavinova Kids

IL: A Clavinova Festival was held in conjunction with the Second Annual Christmas Tree Walk on December 12, 2015 at The Beacon, in Waterloo, Illinois featuring performances by 26 students from two participating teachers, LeAnn Halvorson of Columbia, IL and Deborah Meier, Collinsville, IL. 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 and Illinois MusicLink Coordinator, Deborah Meier.

Chloe Severs

Benjamin Thomas

A total of $900 was collected for the MusicLink Foundation from pledges to benefit children in Illinois. Funds raised will help pay for practice instruments, music, piano moving and tunings, instrument repairs, expense reimbursement for teachers and Summer Music Camp Scholarships for students. Special thanks to Chloe Severs who donated $270 to MusicLink. Thanks to all the participants who raised funds through pledges for these performances and promoted MusicLink by "kids helping kids!"

Melodee Music Performers

VA: Helena Goldberg initiated a benefit recital at Melodee Music in Sterling, VA that featured three adult guest performers - Tim Otis, Helena Goldberg and Robbie Taylor and six students from her piano studio. The recital raised $235 for MusicLink, showing how a single teacher, with a few colleagues, can show how "kids can help kids" through musical performance. Helena plans to spread the word about MusicLink as she tours with her band, Akris (dgrecords), and holds additional benefit events at her studio.

Fairfax Loudon Student

Fairfax Loudon Students

VA: Each year the Fairfax/Loudon Music Fellowship hosts a holiday fundraising event for MusicLink. This year the event was beautifully organized by Amy Work and included student performances throughout the month of December. Students had the wonderful opportunity to play at the beautiful Landsdowne Resort in Leesburg, VA. A total of 14 teachers participated with 184 students performing a variety of repertoire. The event raised close to $3,000 for the MusicLink Foundation ($1000 more than the previous year). Wow!

Teacher Reimbursement and
Grass Roots Grants

The MusicLink Foundation provides teacher reimbursement up to $100 annually to cover expenses incurred by the teacher for MusicLink students. Grass Roots grants support ongoing MusicLink programs. The foundation provided $845 in teacher reimbursement to teachers in FL, VT, MN, MD, IL, NY, and VT. A Grass Roots grant of $500 was awarded to the Minnesota Music Teacher Association for expenses incurred for MusicLink student event fees. MusicLink awards these grants twice a year - in January and June with applications on the website for active MusicLink teachers.

New MusicLink Teachers

We welcome 30 new MusicLink teachers to our roster, all joining or returning in the past few months. This brings our overall teacher total to 2,388 with 327 currently teaching MusicLink students.

AZ: Lynnette Barney, Jeff Requadt; CA: Cindy Abts, Nancy Arnold; FL: Dallas Marlow; GA: Pam Keyes, Christine Morrow; IA: Regina Noel Downing; IN: Nancy Spahr; LA: Sarah Roy; MI: Diana Munch; MN: Sharon Currie, Greg Kajiwara, Marion Kvamme, Peter Meyer, Elise Santa, Javi Santiago; MO: Linda Jurkiewicz; NC: Nyshia Cook; ND: Joann Herman; OR: Scott Belleri, Neil Mattson, Jan Walters; VA: Elizabeth Blakeslee, Chloe Green, Rita Gulliksen, Andrew Horowitz; WA: Lee Eddy, Tiffany Hoecherl, Kathryn Morton.

New Business Partners

We welcome the following new business partners. Look for their particulars on the Business Partner page of our website.

  • Music Perceptions
  • Diamond Piano
Business Partners