August 2023 Newsletter

August 2023

The Tacy Foundation empowers children and teens to share hope and joy with hospital patients, military veterans, senior citizens, and disadvantaged youth through performances, music recording projects, and music mentoring programs.

Check out the music we’re making!

Director’s Corner

With this message, I extend my deepest gratitude to all the volunteers (children, teens, and adults) who are traveling to senior assisted-living facilities and hospitals on the rainiest and/or hottest weekend days. I know their passion because I have been attending as many events as possible this summer. I am amazed by the uncommon humility I see in our young ones. Not a complaint of hardship, discomfort, or grumbling. Only a twinkling of the eyes when greeted and a smile for each senior.

New Opportunities: Live Music locations are appearing by request at Holy Cross Medical Adult Day Care in Silver Spring, and at Sibley, Suburban, and Shady Grove Hospitals. Crafts and chess sessions are part of the fun that middle and high school kids design and run. They come up with ideas, respectfully ask for approval, and then spring into action. Also, we have been asked to support a satellite Piano Pals program organized by a rising senior from The Bryn Mawr School. Piano Pals will be initialized at an adjacent Baltimore inner-city-elementary FARMS school in the fall.  

“Thinking of You” cards will be going out again shortly to Sibley Hospital, as per their request. After that, another cards project will say “thank you” to firefighters, our neighborhoods’ heroes in the times of trouble.

Of special note: Sean and Katie Wang are presenting a concert series again this summer on Mondays at Sunrise Brighton Gardens in Chevy Chase. They design a different program each week around favorite composers. Their presentations of great masterpieces for piano, violin, and clarinet invigorate the seniors each week. Such a dynamic duo!

When you see us in action, remember that we are blessed by all your support as we move out in faith that our music and art will express a fraction of our love for this community and our hope for a better world. Thank you for your unwavering, generous support.

Charlotte Holliday

Perfomance at Waltonwood

Anna Bray

It was Saturday, July 15. Seniors gathered in the spacious lobby at Waltonwood Senior Living in Ashburn as Tacy Foundation volunteers set up a sign emblazoned with the foundation’s logo and mission. The concert began with introductory remarks from one of the co-chief interns, Anna Bray, followed by performances from each of the volunteers. Anna performed various classical works by Chopin, Ravel, and Rachmaninoff on the piano, Akira Dasgupta sang a selection of classical and popular tunes, Sabrina Lu performed traditional Chinese music on the zither, and Siddharth Bhupalam gave renditions of several pop songs. The volunteers ensured that the seniors felt valued and included in this varied and entertaining program. The musicians introduced themselves to the audience and provided some background information on the work they were going to perform. When Sabrina explained that one of her pieces was about a Chinese war general, she used the opportunity to honor any veterans in the audience.

The performers: Sabrina, Anna, Siddharth, Akira

Throughout the concert, staff had to repeatedly set out chairs to accommodate the growing audience -- by the end, over 40 seniors had gathered. Closing remarks from Akira Dasgupta, another co-chief intern, ended the concert on a good note (pun intended). Volunteers took time afterwards to chat with the seniors, who repeatedly expressed how much they enjoyed everyone’s performances. The Tacy Foundation once again fulfilled its mission of blessing others through music.

A Lovely Farewell Note

Nina Lal

As I wrap up this summer and pursue higher education this fall, I want to take this opportunity to thank Mrs. Holliday for the impactful experience I've had with the Tacy Foundation for the last six years.

I began volunteering with Tacy Foundation as a guitar performer in middle school, when I supported my older sister Niki who was the chief intern at Waltonwood. Those performances not only made me a better guitar player but also made me more confident when performing in front of an audience. But more importantly, seeing the smiling faces of the seniors while I performed brought me joy and fulfillment. Building a relationship between the elderly and younger people became an unexpected yet rewarding outcome.  

When Niki graduated high school, I knew immediately that I wanted to take on the chief intern responsibility at Waltonwood. Your faith in me allowed me to transition into that role smoothly. I am grateful that you trusted and empowered me to continue at Waltonwood for two years as chief intern.

As I say goodbye to Waltonwood and the Tacy Foundation, I have learned a great deal about service and giving back to the most vulnerable members of my community. Neglect and loneliness receive little consideration in the well-being of older people, who have limited resources to support healthy aging. Spurring recollections and dialogue with senior citizens is my little way to bring equity to the most forgotten members of my community. By the end of each performance, the seniors are filled with gratitude, but most importantly, they thrive on the interaction with the volunteers.

An Excellent Music Mentoring Program

Wendy Wang (site supervisor) and Grace Liang

July 15 marked the third visit of Tacy volunteers to Tanglewood Apartments, a Housing Opportunities Commission apartment complex in Silver Spring. It was a hot and humid day, but that did not affect the passion of our volunteers to teach. The volunteers all showed up early. They set up the keyboards and guitars, reviewed the progress of their students, and eagerly waited for their students. When the students arrived, we finally understood how important and meaningful this program is: They were all enthusiastic and eager to take their lessons and test for wristbands. Everyone is so focused and engaged in class. The students are always willing to learn more and continue the lesson as long as possible. All the mentors did a great job engaging with their students, especially the Guitar Pal mentor Arjun, who held the complete focus of multiple students at once.

(left to right) Leo Peko, Grace Liang, Rose Liang, Abigail Lakew, Aashvi Gangakhedkar,

Marianna Peko, Nandan Ram, Rakeb Lakew, Arjun Ram,

Learning about the Meaning of Music

Mandy Guo

Ever since I began volunteering, The Tacy Foundation has helped me learn about the importance of music and its potential impact on people. I started volunteering in middle school, before COVID had shut things down. At the time, I only really understood that music was nice to listen to, and that learning more instruments would probably be a good idea for me, if not for personal enjoyment, then for the sake of having it as an extracurricular activity.

Once I began volunteering, I didn't exactly change my mindset right away. To me, volunteering at Shady Grove Hospital was interesting and fun, and I felt that, to some extent, it was helpful to the patients. At the time I didn't understand completely just how important that was. It took a chance encounter for me to realize just how important music is and how people can build a personal connection to it. I was performing at the Shady Grove Local Hospital, when a man came up to me and complimented me on my playing and my score selection. He explained to me that his mother, a patient at the hospital, had played piano and that this was one of her favorite pieces. At her urging he had sought me out to find out who was playing it, and I realized that the music I played had touched and helped someone. Before I left for the night, I played it one more time, in the hopes that maybe she could hear it again.

Since then, I've realized more and more just how impactful music can be, and I finally recognized the importance of music when it comes to healing. I've met dozens of people who use music to better their moods or simply as an outlet for creative expression or emotion. The Tacy Foundation, and that lucky chance encounter that I had, have shown me just how influential music is, not only for me but also for the people who hear our performances.

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 through 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

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!  

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