February 2024 Newsletter

February 2024

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

We enter February with strength and courage. Emboldened by the power of music in our daily lives, we are aware of more requests to send our children and their music as healers and caregivers. As more senior-facility staff hear from their colleagues about youth performing live music monthly, they request live music for seniors, not only for assisted and independent-living residents but also for memory-care seniors. To find enough volunteer musicians to initiate and sustain Tacy Foundation programs keeps us all very engaged. We urge students, parents, and family friends to tell your music teachers about the programs. Go to the website (www.tacyfoundation.org) and read about the current efforts to serve in such a meaningful, personal way.


Volunteer staff, including parent supervisors, youth leaders, and participants, experience extraordinary depth of love and care. We thank all these parties involved in the facilitating opportunities to bring to fruition our purpose of Inspiring Hope, Note by Note.


Thank you, Dr. Wen Grace Chen, for organizing NIH’s December 14-15 event, “Music as Medicine: The Science and Clinical Practice.” If you did not attend the virtual conference, she has sent the links below for your understanding and awareness of the body of work being explored. We are so very honored to receive this gift from NIH.

“Music as Medicine: The Science and Clinical Practice” was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and jointly organized by NIH, the NEA, the Renée Fleming Foundation, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Recordings of this meeting is now available online.


December 14, 2023

December 15, 2023

Serving at Falcon's Landing

Max Kim

Performing at Falcon’s Landing

The Joys of Solo and Group Performance

Sophia Lin

January: new beginnings, new resolutions, and new opportunities. My year is off to a great start with two concerts. I am most experienced in solo piano performances, but I’ll play in a chamber group in these two concerts.


As a National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) Youth Fellow, I regularly perform on the stages of the Kennedy Center. On January 25th, I will perform the Vaughan Williams Piano Quintet on the Millennium Stage. During rehearsals, we musicians of five distinct instruments swap tips (and sometimes instruments) as we learn to become better musicians together. Playing in a chamber group is acutely different from the solo music I am used to. As I grapple with the shifting tempo alongside four other high schoolers, negotiate dynamics, and learn about the economics of violin bows, I partake in a collaborative experience that is universally addictive for solo instruments like the piano.


After I won the Gertrude S. Brown Memorial Concerto Competition, I was invited to perform with the New England Youth Ensemble of Washington Adventist University (NEYE) on January 28th. Though this will be my fourth concert performing a concerto with an orchestra, I am still beyond ecstatic about the opportunity. It means inhabiting a role wedged between my familiar routine of solo recitals and the exciting new realm of chamber music. I obtain an upper hand through much of the piece while playing with the push-and-pull I associate with collaborative music. Playing a slow movement with sweet melodies and sweeping arpeggios, I will feel the freedom as the orchestra hushes for my cadenza-like spots and feel the swoop of an entire orchestra backing me up as we come together.


My concerts remind me of my journey as a music volunteer. I started playing long solo performances at a community home, Sunrise of McLean. As more people joined, our concerts became more collaborative. Our relations become egalitarian as a metaphysical weight of connective tissue of trust, passion, and compassion grew among us. When I became a Chief Intern of Sunrise, I stepped into a new position, still entrenched in teamwork but with the element of leadership added in.


Even when I perform outside of the Foundation, I carry the reputation of the Tacy Foundation with me. I proudly ended my 80-word bio with the following words: “A dedicated Chief Intern volunteer at the Tacy Foundation, Sophia organizes performances regularly for her community.” Finally, I am always reminded of the Tacy Foundation’s unending generosity and support. The Board of Directors unanimously voted to hold their meeting an hour later just so Ms. Holliday could come to my concert. I am proud to be a member of such a kind and supportive community.

Sophia Lin with the MostArts Orchestra

This year, I resolve to continue to improve myself as a musician on all fronts and become a leader in my community. Thanks to several concerts this month (January), my year should be off to a great start. I already won the Robert Spencer Piano Concerto Competition this month and will perform the Schubert “Trout” Quintet at the Kennedy Center in the coming months. Here’s to another year of wonderful music, and cheers to the continued pursuit of excellence!

From left to right: Eric Lin and Sophia Lin at the Robert Spencer Piano Competition,

in which Sophia won the first-place prize


Another Proud Parent

Xia (Sherry) Bai

In the photo below, taken in December 2017, Shaun and Samuel were playing a holiday music piece in Westfield Wheaton shopping mall. You can see Mrs. Holliday is there too, helping them flip their music sheets. This was the boys' first time playing in front of a big audience. They joined the Tacy Foundation in 2017 and have become senior members. They performed for different audiences through the Tacy Foundation, including residents at assisted living and hospital patients, and attended fundraising events. These experiences were precious to help them get to know our community better and contribute to it in their own way. As a mom, I am proud to see their progress and feel very grateful for the opportunities provided by the Tacy Foundation. Mrs. Holliday, as the founder of the organization, is quite inspiring! It is great to have her in our community!

Memorializing Performances

Winnie Chen

As a volunteer with the philanthropic Tacy Foundation, I perform flute music at different senior homes. I strive to create delightful experiences for listeners, which includes selecting unique sheet music that should please elderly audiences, engaging in repeated practice sessions, providing energetic performances, spending time and conversing with residents, taking impactful photographs, and much more.


The isolation of seniors and society’s rejection of them is both a local and a global concern for me. The seniors whom I work with through Tacy genuinely appreciate the time I spend playing for and chatting with them, and they seem to enjoy my music on a more profound level than the typical audience. Regardless of my performance level, they always applaud and exclaim joyful compliments.


Since I occasionally struggle with minor stage fright, I appreciate the opportunity to perform calmly in this safe, supportive arena—and to contribute to such a meaningful, rewarding cause. The appreciation we receive is its own reward: after a performance at one senior home, for example, I felt tremendously gratified after an elderly woman elaborately thanked each musician and shook our hands, one by one.

Winnie ready to record a performance.

After volunteering with the Tacy Foundation for a year, I recognized that the time many young musicians dedicate to performing might be enhanced if there were people to create pictures and record music clips for preserving the performances for both the musicians’ and listeners’ special memories.

Parent’s Perspectives…

A Family Tradition of Giving Hope

Jenny Kim

My son Max Kim has been serving with Tacy Foundation for several years. When I first heard about Tacy, I was truly excited about the organization, its mission, and the opportunity for my son to serve. Let's just say serving is in our family's blood. As teenagers, my husband and I both served as officers for our respective high school Key Clubs. As adults, my husband and I continued to volunteer--for places like food pantries, Feed My Starving Children, Fairfax County Parks’ cleanups, to name some examples. Our family has stressed the importance of giving back, showing compassion, and advocating for others who are less fortunate or challenged by life's circumstances.


As a parent, I have observed the connection between the music performed by Tacy youth and the nursing home residents who show up for the live music. Some residents haven't heard live music in a long while. Some have memories that are slipping, but somehow you can see faces light up as they recognize classical pieces, hymns, or patriotic songs. Some hum or sing along. Some have tears trickling down their faces. This is the impact of music and how lives can be changed. I am thankful to Tacy for providing this opportunity for youth, like my son Max, to engage in this important work and carry on the legacy of service.

All in the Family

MJ Park

I have two kids who have served the Tacy Foundation, and I am deeply appreciative of this wonderful opportunity.


My son Ethan has volunteered for the Tacy Foundation since his 6th grade. As a cellist, he has played in orchestras, but it was a unique experience to be part of a community service like the Tacy Foundation, in which he can serve as a music performer at many places. From the Tacy Foundation volunteer concerts, Ethan has learned how to serve the community with music, and in doing so he has become more confident in his music skills and has improved his concert manners. He has performed at various places like senior houses, hospitals, fire station events, benefit concerts, and NIH noon-time concerts. He says he is thankful to be part of the Tacy Foundation since he has grown as a musician who is not afraid of being in front of a wide range of audiences and as a community member who can share his talent and enjoyment of music. Ethan is also performing as a chief intern at the Housing Opportunities Commission in Bethesda at least each month, and he always looks forward to meeting the people there who always welcome and applaud the young musicians' performances.


In addition, my little girl Emma joined last year, and she is also enjoying and growing with the Tacy Foundation volunteer activities.


Thanks to the Tacy Foundation and Charlotte, both my kids are becoming more mature and appreciative of their musical talent, and I would love to recommend this tremendous non-profit to anyone who loves music and who wants to be healed and comforted with music.

The newsletter welcomes contributions from parents of student volunteers.

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

Zoe Bell, Teen Editor

Max Belyanstev, 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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