April 2023 Newsletter

Inspiring Hope!
April 2023
A Young Artist Competition Winner
Charlotte Holliday

On March 15 Jessica Zhu won first place in the 18th Annual U.S. Army Orchestra Young Artist Competition. Jessica has been a very active and strong presence among Tacy volunteers for four years. She began playing at Shady Grove Hospital on Saturday afternoons. As a 9th grader, she already played unaccompanied sonatas and partitas by Bach. Jessica continued to volunteer faithfully. In high school, she volunteered for several long-term Chief Internships at such places as Sunrise Friendship Heights in Chevy Chase and the National Institutes of Health. She has continued to lead events with other youth, play for seniors and hospitals, and send videos for the Foundation’s private playlist to hospitals and senior assisted-living facilities.

I still enjoy a poignant memory of the day during COVID in 2021 when Jessica received a scholarship from Tanglewood summer studies. Immediately, her parents contacted us to donate to the Foundation the full tuition that she and they had saved for the summer. Jessica wanted to donate it since she had won a scholarship.

Congratulations to Jessica,her parents, and her teacher! Her pattern of charitable service shows that shehas also become a very compassionate and accomplished philanthropist. 

In addition to Jessica, Katie Hwang, a new volunteer with the Foundation, was also a finalist in this competition. Katie was called in at the last minute to take the place of a finalist who became ill. You can see and hear her on the Tacy YouTube playlist. We are honored to have both Jessica and Katie in our midst. The video below is Jessica Zhu's performance. Jump to 3:11:03 to see Katie Hwang's performance as well.

Jessica Zhu's Performance
In addition to Jessica, Katie Hwang was also a finalist in this competition. Katie was called in at the last minute to take the place of a finalist who became ill. You can see and hear her on the Tacy YouTube playlist. Katie is a new volunteer with the Foundation. We are honored to have both Jessica and Katie in our midst. Katie is on the left and Jessica is on the right.
Katie and Jessica
Two Newly Published Composers
Michael Tacy
2023 has been the biggest year yet for Composer’s Circle: more students than ever are participating and creating awesome new music. This month I would like to highlight two new composers who published their first pieces in 2023: Shawn Hettiarachchi and Mahnavu Schwartz.

Shawn wrote two fittingly winter-themed pieces at the end of 2022 and start of this year, “The Little Penguin” and “Winter Break,” and Mahnavu wrote a piece about the desert she calls “Sand Lullaby.”

Here is what they have to say about their pieces:
Shawn: “I liked how it transitioned from major to minor and back to a major chord set. I am also proud that we had a storyline behind those songs like the penguin trotting into the blizzard and the arguments that could happen during those winter breaks.”

Mahnavu: "It's about a guy named Ralph who goes up and down a sand dune, digs in the ground, goes back up the hill, down the other side, and then goes home." 

Each of these new, young composers has a delightfully joyful voice that comes through in their music. You can listen to and view the sheet music of their new pieces by opening the links below!

Winter Break (Shawn): https://youtu.be/15k-a54B0tY
The Little Penguin (Shawn): https://youtu.be/8S_gr4aOZDw
Sand Lullably (Mahnavu): https://youtu.be/Fjkxm2PVQcs

Concerts to Benefit Families in Turkey and Syria

Winnie Chen
The Tacy Foundation, with essential support from volunteers and partners, organized three benefit concerts for the families victimized by the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria – March 5 and 12 in Maryland and March 26 in Virginia.
Witnessing the young performers who dedicated their time and talent to send hope to Turkey and Syria was a genuinely inspiring experience. The performers came together to send a message of solidarity through their music by pouring their hearts and souls into every chord and note. The music played brought our hearts together with those who had just gone through catastrophe, despite their geographical distance.

As I reviewed the pictures taken for the performances, I could feel the passion and energy emanating from the stage. The music was uplifting, and the message was explicit: there is always hope, even in the darkest times.

Capturing these performances was not just about documenting a moment in time. It was about sending a message of solidarity to people in Turkey and Syria. It was about letting them know that they were not alone, and that other people were standing with them and rooting for them in their time of need.

I am grateful to have witnessed such a beautiful display of humanity and to have participated in this meaningful event. It reminds us that we can always find hope and strength, even in adversity.

For essential assistance with the benefit concerts, The Tacy Founation would like to thank:
•    Ana Eastep of Studio 25 in Ijamsville for the elegant graphic design of the programs, flyers, and posters.  
•    Mcpadnet of Gaithersburg for all printing of programs and flyers in time for all the concerts.
•    FastSigns of Rockville for all posters announcing the events.
March 5th Young Artists
Anderson and Jackson Bernal, Piano and Violin
Ethan Yee, Piano
Alisa Yonter, Piano
Lucas Guo, Piano
Justin Foong, Piano
Shauo Zhang, Piano
Ethan Hahn, Cello
Emma Hahn, Violin
Samuel Wang, Violin
Jessica Wang, Piano
Shaun Wang, Violin
Joanne Fan, flute
Aidan Paul, Piano
Jason Riedel, Piano
Shubo Zhang, Saxophone
Raymond Lim, Violin
Dylan Schenker, Piano
Joanna Jacob, Reception Staff
Khoa Hoang, Usher & Reception Staff
Quynh Mi Hoang, Usher & Reception Staff
Lilian Wang, Usher & Reception Staff
March 12th Young Artists
Jaden Nguyen, Piano
Anirudh Ghodgaonkar, Piano
Aidan Paul, Piano
Abhijeet Ghodgaonkar, Piano
Katie Wang, Piano
Katie Diao, Flute
Adishree Strope, Piano
Yulania Wang, Piano
Caroline Su, Piano
Max Belyantsev, Piano
Sean Wang, Piano
Holly Lam, Violin
Jai Gupta, Piano
Dylan Schenker, Piano
Event Managers
Ria Rajesh
Khoa Hoang
Quynh Mi Hoang
Kha Hoang
Winnie Chen

March 5th Concert

March 12th Concert

Thank you to the United Church of Christ of Seneca Valley for offering their facility for both benefit concerts and receptions. The lovely sanctuary provided beautiful sounds of hope and healing for everyone.

The third Benefit Concert, March 26 in Springfield, VA at the Community of Christ Church, featured these performers. They play with passion and compassion for the live audience as well as for of live-stream viewers:
1.            Allison Oh, Piano
2.            Anna Bray, Piano
3.            Kevin Shen, Piano
4.            Jake Kim, Piano
5.            Jayden Lee, Vocal – Allison Oh, Piano 
6.            Kenneth Duong, Piano
7.            Sara Kang Violin – Kenneth Duong, Piano
8.            Triston Yu, Piano
Dr. Sigme Yonter told the passionate story of Turkey and Syria refugees for these concerts. A doctor at NIH and a parent of a talented Tacy Foundation volunteer, she and her family from Turkey researched the organizations that will be vigilant in bringing all funds that are donated to refugee recovery. She created a special Tacy Foundation site on one of the websites just for us to donate, should we choose. She traveled to both sites in Maryland and Virginia to lend her voice to the concern for the hundreds of thousands of displaced people of her homeland. We thank her and her family for their direction.

We give special thanks to the many parents who have provided their children and teens with opportunities to study music and to offer their time and music to the northern Virginia communities before and during the COVID pandemic. They have passed on to their children their zeal to make a better world.

Please use the QR code on the benefit concert poster for information on how to donate.
Support in a Time of Need
Mario Lara, Chief Intern Cards Projects, Tacy Foundation Volunteer

Hurricane Ian made landfall on Sept. 28, 2022, in Cayo Costa, Florida, a barrier island west of Fort Myers in Lee County. It was one of the strongest hurricanes to land in Florida, a Category 4 storm with 150 mph sustained winds and a 10-15 feet of storm surge. Many parts of Lee County were devastated, along with other areas.

The Tacy Foundation mailed a package containing volunteers’ cards and QR codes with music to the Lee County Emergency Management Center in Fort Myers, Florida. The cards and QR codes were shared with hundreds of people, including staff and volunteers who helped many people in the devastated area. The center director acknowledged our package by stating, “Ian was a stressful and challenging time for us, but the healing power of your music certainly helped us get through.” 

Thank you to all the Tacy Foundation volunteers who participated in the Hurricane Ian project! Please continue to volunteer for our card projects. Right now, we have the Turkey/Syria card project, which is focused on uplifting the spirits of the many refugees. For more information, email: cards.thetacyfoundation@gmail.com. Please continue to sign up for our future projects.

Jessie Zou
Samuel and Shaun Wang
Luke D'Souza
Performance at Landow House
Trudi Benford

We had an especially lovely event at Landow House in Rockville on March 19. The residents were very engaged and talked a lot with the kids. Harrison Benford, the Chief Intern, kept things running smoothly, and everyone was well prepared. We even had a young trumpet player! Harrison offered the residents a choice of Beethoven or a modern piece to close out the concert, and surprisingly everyone chose the modern one -- a nice surprise, and I think a special way to engage the audience, too, with a poll.

I would say this was one of the most heart-warming events we've had at the Hebrew Home so far. It felt like everything that the Foundation is intended to do happened there today. 

The performers: Shuao Zheng, Sarah Lin, Yanqi Chen, Alice Xue,
Liam Bonangelino, Harrison Benford
Piano Pals at Great Seneca Creek Elementary School
Genny Go (adult supervisor)

It has been a pleasure volunteering for Piano Pals at Great Seneca Creek Elementary School. The students are excited about advancing to higher levels in the piano book and earning bracelets of different colors after each level. 

The middle- and high-school volunteer mentors are top-notch. Some of them go on competitions and performances on weekends.

It is amazing to see the students and mentors grow and feel more confident as the program progresses. We are looking forward to showcasing their talents during the closing program on March 24.

Joanna Jacob (9th Grade, Wootton HS) and GSCES 4th Grader.
Genesis Galeas (5th Grade) and Shuchi Tyagi (10th Grade, Richard Montgomery HS) 
GSCES 3rd Grader and Adithya Nair (12th Grade, Poolesville HS)
Koffi Bako (Grade K)
Adithya Nair (12th Grade, Poolesville HS) and GSCES 3rd Grader.
Clockwise from L: Philip Black (5th), GSCES 3rd Grader, GSCES 5th Grader, Student from Tuesday Class, and Jayleen Paiz (3rd).
From Top Row L-R: Luanna Beazley (5th), Abhijeet Ghodgaonkar (9th Grade, Poolesville HS), GSCES 5th Grader, Sanjana Choudhary (8th Grade, Rocky Hill MS)
Clockwise from L: GSCES 5th Grader, Abhijeet Ghodgaonkar (9th, Poolesville HS), Koffi Bako (K)
Kenor Ortiz Madrid (3rd Grade) and Jordan Go (10th Grade, Poolesville HS)
Jayleen Paiz (3rd Grade) and Shuchi Tyagi (10th Grade, Richard Montgomery HS) 
Clockwise from L: Koffi Bako (K), Sanjana Choudhary (8th, Rocky Hill MS), Adithya Nair (12th Poolesville HS), Silvia Galeas (3rd), Arush Arora (12th Grade, Richard Montgomery HS), Luanna Beazley (5th), Abhijeet Ghodgaonkar (9th, Poolesville HS)
GSCES 4th Grader and Holly Lam (Washington University)
Sylia Bako (2nd Grade), Arush Arora (12th Grade, Poolesville HS)
Arush Arora (12th Grade, Richard Montgomery HS)
and Silvia Galeas (3rd Grade)

Director's Corner

Since last month, we have prepared and performed three full-length benefit concerts, two in Maryland and one in Virginia, for refugees of Turkey and Syria. Piano Pals programs in six schools finished this school year’s work with closing concerts, certificates, and engraved medals on March 30th. A new Piano Pals program continues at Tanglewood Apartments in Silver Spring on Saturday mornings. Composer's Circle flourishes with new music for each newsletter issue (check the portal). Participation for live music grows with more invitations to facilities in Virginia and Maryland. The Reading Express continues to add new books. Walter Reed is filled with the sounds of our youth playing in the America Building on their afternoons off from school. Virginia volunteers play throughout the area once a month in 11 (soon to be 13) senior facilities that have requested their ongoing presence.
As of March 20, new card projects have been initialized by the Cards Team and NJHS of Hallie Wells Middle School President Ria Rajesh:
1. Cards of support and love to Turkish and Syrian refugees, translated into Arabic by students.
2. Cards of encouragement and support for children of first responders throughout the USA.

Beyond cards, Raymond Lim has offered to initialize and manage a music video playlist called “Sounds of Hope for Turkey and Syria.”  The link will be conveyed on QR code cards, first to rescuers and rebuilders, and later to earthquake survivors.  As they begin the long road to recovery, they will have access to “Sounds of Hope for Turkey and Syria.” And they will know us by our love.

There are so many wonderful opportunities to serve, and so many students who want to play live music, write stories, read stories on video, compose music, and teach music to underprivileged children. Busy parents change their work hours, sleep less, and encourage their children to make opportunities for their kind-hearted children. Seniors gather and wait for the young musicians. So many hospital patients and visitors pass through the lobby to beautiful sounds of our kids and are lifted for that moment. Many private music teachers are preparing their students to bring music and messages of hope to the world. We see teens scouring the internet and music libraries to find and learn just the right piece for the occasion, something that will touch the heart and soul of another human being.
On April 4th, I will reach a new milestone in my life. Born in 1948 shortly after World War II, I will celebrate my 75th birthday. I have watched our changing world wide-eyed with wonderment. To find hope and healing in a complicated world has been a personal sojourn for all these years. The level of commitment from the families here in the nation’s capital is a testament of the indomitable spirit in each of you. Thank you for carrying forward the torch of hope to the next generations with lives of service and purpose.

Celebrate with me, now that you have read the powerful stories above of our youth and their families making their way in the world as young philanthropists. We are so very fortunate to be here together to encourage each other as well as those needing hope and courage to face challenging situations.
Happy Birthday, Mrs. Holliday!!
The Tacy Foundation
Educational Mission: Foster youth development through music, story and mentoring
Philanthropic Mission Empower youth to discover and use their gifts in service to others
Social Mission: Build community partnerships and create intergenerational connections
      Whom We Serve
          Service members
          Economically disadvantaged
          Individuals who want to serve
     How We Serve (Programs)
          Live music concerts
          Reading Express®
          Piano Pals®
          Guitar Pals®
          Composers’ Circle
          Music USBs
          Musical equipment
          COVID projects: video, email, cards, puzzles for outreach to the community
Charlotte Holliday, Founder and Executive Director
Matthew D. Scott and Michael Tacy, Graphic Editors
Michael Favin, Chief Editor
Evan Yee, Teen Editor
Ethan Schenker, Teen Editor
Donations are appreciated.  All adult and teen staff are volunteers.  No salaries or benefits. Every dollar you donate goes to supplies for all projects offered to the community. 
Thank you!  
Donate online via PayPal at:  www.tacyfoundation.org.
Or send your donation to: 
The Tacy Foundation 
Box 2334
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