July 2022 Newsletter

Inspiring Hope!
July 2022

♩ Director’s Corner

Director's Corner: Thank you all for your well-wishes for the Neal Potter Path of Achievement Lifetime Award, presented June 15, 2022, at the Civic Center in Silver Spring, MD.
Eight young musicians volunteered to play instrumental music for the reception:

Joanne Fan, Flute  
Ethan Hahn, Cello
Jessica Hoang, Violin
Vincent Lee, Violin 
Emily Wang, Flute
Angela Shen, Clarinet
Alan Whitman, Violin
Jason Youm, Cello
Officiating for the Ceremony were:
Emcee: Andrea Roane
Speaker and Presenter: Montgomery County Executive Director Marc Elrich 

It was such an honor to be seated with my daughters, Mr. Richard Pedersen and Karina Willis-Lara, the nominator. Also present were longtime friends from Baltimore County and Howard County, alumnus Jake Engel, Tacy Teens Ethan and Dylan, and instrumentalists named above.
Look at the nice video prepared by Montgomery Serves staff!
Below are notes from two strong supporters of the Foundation.
Thank you for your support and ongoing participation!

Ms. Holliday’s Acceptance Speech


Good evening, County Executive Marc Elrich, Events Coordinator Shelley Block, Montgomery County Volunteer Staff and Montgomery County residents:

Receiving the Neal Potter Path of Achievement Award is certainly the apex of my years as a volunteer in Montgomery County! 

My dream to create a safe and powerful community service experience for children and teens through music and the arts has come true through The Tacy Foundation. 

As a child, I experienced the restorative, healing properties of music. So convinced was I that this discovery could be shared by all children, I dreamed THAT ONE DAY I WOULD BE ABLE to pay forward the lessons brought to me through music’s presence in my life. My music teachers gave me a priceless gift that I now share with children of all ages. The Foundation offers golden opportunities to all youth…connections with senior facilities, hospitals, and Title 1 schools. They participate in live music, cards projects for the sick, mentoring underprivileged children, and then they dream their own dream and learn how to FOLLOW A PATHWAY OF SERVICE WHEREVER THEY GO. As they grow up, they develop leadership skills and vision to create their own philanthropies as adults. To know that the seeds of “inspiring hope” through music, art, and story are planted firmly in our youth for two generations now brings such emotion and inspiration in me.

I accept this award for all of the children, teens, parents, grandparents, teachers, volunteers in Montgomery County, Tacy Foundation Volunteer Staff, and the Tacy Family. These are the heroes who have reached deep down inside to find hope during COVID and then have reached up and out to share their gifts of music, art, and story with others whom they may or may not meet but who will most certainly be blessed by their love. These youth have become and will continue to be AMBASSADORS OF HOPE as they create and follow paths of service, and send out their vibrant sounds to heal, to restore, to imagine a better world, and to create endless possibilities for all people. Thank you!  

Charlotte Tacy Holliday

A Note from Richard Pedersen, President of the Tacy Foundation

I am honored to inform you that last evening, June 15, 2022, Charlotte Holliday received Montgomery County's "Neal Potter Path of Achievement Award."  This award is given to two individuals or organizations yearly as part of the "Montgomery Serves Awards" program. The event took place at the Silver Spring Civic Building.
Charlotte is a 2022 Montgomery Serves Awards honoree.
In addition to a well-produced narrated video presentation of Charlotte's accomplishments, the program included this introduction:
"Germantown music teacher Charlotte Tacy Holliday is the founder of The Tacy Foundation, which empowers children and teens to share hope with hospital patients, military veterans, senior citizens, and disadvantaged youth through performances, music recording projects, and music mentoring programs."
There were more than 75 persons or organizations nominated for awards, of which eight were honored at last evening's event, recognizing achievements during 2021. A special thanks to Karina Willis-Lara, a Tacy Foundation volunteer, who nominated Charlotte and led the completion of the nomination application.
I have attached two photos from last evening.
Congratulations, Charlotte!

Ms. Holliday with presenters and guests on the dais. L-to-R: Susan Lee, Maryland State Senator; Marc Elrich, Montgomery County Executive; Andrea Roane, noted D.C. newscaster and emcee for the evening; a member of the Montgomery Serves organization.
Ms. Holliday giving her acceptance remarks

A Note from Board Member Jon Mathis
Congratulations again, Charlotte!
Her acceptance speech was both gracious and moving.
If you'd like to read more about the award, it was published on page 47 (shows as page 49 in the gray direction bar below the page) in the issue of the Washington DC’s The Beacon. See: https://www.thebeaconnewspapers.com/washington-dc/

Tacy Foundation Moves to Support People in Uvalde
By Charlotte Tacy Holliday
Our Foundation intends to do its part, no matter how small, to try to provide comfort to people in Uvalde, Texas. As of June 16, Michael Tacy was busy creating QR Codes for a shipment of cards, USBs, Spanish children's music CDs, and our heartfelt sympathy to Uvalde, TX. The librarian there was thrilled that we will send the links to Reading Express playlist of children's stories and video playlists of music for their Summer Reading Program. She said that they have a large TV screen that can show the books and music videos. Another agency, The Children's Bereavement Center out of San Antonio is selecting a site in Uvalde for counseling support for all families that need it there. They are very thrilled to receive links and USBs and QR Codes and anything that reminds these families that we are with them. 
Reading Express Experience
Hi, my name is Cassie Lee, and I’m a 6th grader. During this first year at The Tacy Foundation, I have been reading books to kids in the hospital through videos! It’s very enjoyable to read books to kids and show them the beautiful world of books! I can’t imagine how scary it must be for a little kid to be in the hospital. However, I am glad that I can help these children feel even just a bit better through my videos.

I enjoyed listening to books when I was little, and of course that included reading them! When I visited my family in Hong Kong, I started watching mainly videos of people narrating books. I really enjoyed watching them. After I joined The Tacy Foundation, I was able to start narrating books myself. This helped me learn much more about the process of making videos and helped me realize how hard it is to edit them! I feel so happy knowing that I can give the same joy to those kids that I felt when I was little. It’s wonderful to know that kids actually watch my videos and genuinely appreciate the books I read. I hope to continue making reading videos and get even better at making them in the near future.

View and listen to one of Cassie's recordings here
A Video Created by Katie Daio for the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

Featuring Original music by Tacy Foundation Composer and Performer, Sean Wang
Video by Katie Daio, Music by Sean Wang
Building on My Tacy Foundation Experience
By Niki Lal, NYU - Class of 2025, Former Chief Intern for the Tacy Foundation
My freshman year as a music business major at NYU has been so impactful. I have been exposed to so much educationally, culturally, and musically. I’ve always wanted somehow to work in the music industry, so this spring I decided to apply for an internship that seemed to fit my future career plans. Though I was reluctant to apply, as most freshmen do not typically qualify for internships, I decided to take a chance. The internship was with Sony Music Entertainment, specifically in its media and advertising department, which had already had a couple hundred applicants by the time I clicked “Submit” on the application website.
After a few weeks, I got an email that invited me to a one-way virtual interview, something I’ve never done before. This was very nerve wracking as I was speaking to a screen and did not know the questions that would be appearing. Nonetheless, I completed the virtual interview but was unsure if I would be hearing back from Sony.
After several more weeks, an email in my inbox brought an unexpected surprise. The director of the media department at Sony invited me to a second interview! I prepared for the interview and decided to focus on the skills that I learned by being a Chief Intern for the Tacy Foundation, such as leadership, marketing, organizing and, of course, service and giving back. During the interview, my preparation came in handy, especially when I was asked questions about leadership. However, what stood out the most was the comment that the interviewer made about my work with the Tacy Foundation. He said using my passion for music to help the assisted-living community distinguished me from the rest of the applicants.
My next round of interviews was with the VP of Media at Sony, and I continued to discuss my experience with the Tacy Foundation during the interview. Within a few days of this third round of interviews, I was informed that I had been selected as a paid summer intern with the media team. I truly believe that my journey with the Tacy Foundation led me to this outcome. I am indebted Ms. Holliday and the supporting staff of the Foundation for the experience and opportunity provided to me as a chief intern. This experience had always been rewarding emotionally, but now it has rewarded me by kickstarting the first steps of my career.
Tacy Alumus Bryan Eng to Give Local Performance
Bryan Eng, a graduate of Walt Whitman High School and the Tacy Foundation, will be in Bethesda to do a show at Blues Alley in Georgetown. He and his trio are performing "An Evening of Nat King Cole with Bryan Eng" on Sunday, July 17th at 7pm. Tickets are available at: https://www.instantseats.com/index.cfm?eventID=47666C1C-C158-385B-7391535F530CD5CD&fuseaction=buy.event
Music’s Impact
By Zoya Bharmal

There is strong evidence that studying a musical instrument has the potential to enhance an individual’s childhood in multiple ways, with benefits ranging from providing paths for self-expression, to developing a solid work ethic, to simply having fun. Diane Cole takes this idea further by arguing that beyond tremendously affecting a child’s formation, musical study’s impact stays with the individual into adulthood as well. Cole contends that musical study leads to “defense[s] against memory loss, cognitive decline, [difficulty distinguishing] consonants and spoken words.” She argues that this is accomplished by musical training’s ability to strengthen and develop new neural pathways and connections that work against the neural decline accompanied by old age. As our brains have the ability to adapt throughout our lifetime, these effects can be experienced even if one begins their musical training in adulthood itself.

These effects can be seen through imaging carried out by neurologist Gottfried Schlaug, who found that “the brains of adult professional musicians had a larger volume of gray matter than the brains of non­musicians had.” A similar study comparing the brains of child musicians before and after they began their musical studies also showed brain changes through the strengthening of their motor and auditory brain regions. These tremendous changes can be explained by the method by which our brains process musical training. Musicians must simultaneously combine many processes as they carry out their performances, focusing their eyes, reading notes, maintaining their breath, and pressing the instrument to create the intended sounds. This is possible only through constant communication between not only different brain centers but also across the two hemispheres. Cole is an advocate for individuals to begin musical training regardless of their age and reminds us that as important as it is to exercise our bodies, it is equally important to remember to exercise our minds.
You can read more of Cole’s article here: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/article/140103-music-lessons-brain-aging-cognitive-neuroscience

I began studying music 15 years ago and am enthusiastic about the Tacy Foundation’s mission of inspiring hope and healing through music!
Singing at My School’s Cabaret
by Susan Lin
My school’s Cabaret is a night of singing and musical performances open to all students, faculty, and staff, and there is usually a bake sale where all proceeds will be donated to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. When I first saw the email about the Cabaret back in April, I decided to pass on the chance because there was a lot on my plate at the moment; and I was afraid that my performance would not be as good as I wanted because of the short amount of time I had available to practice and prepare. In addition, I had not sung by myself in person or in front of a whole school since middle school, so I wasn’t sure if I would feel comfortable enough to perform. After the decision to not perform, I didn’t think of Cabaret for a while.

However, in May, I saw another email moving the Cabaret to a new, more suitable date for me. A spark of excitement ignited my willingness to challenge myself. I realized I did indeed want to perform, show my talent, and spread joy to more people. I wanted to give myself a chance to do what I truly wanted to do. The song I ended up choosing was “Heavenly Road” (“天路”) by Han Hong (韩红), a Chinese singer. I chose it because it is one of my favorite songs, not only for the beautiful melody but also for the hope and joy shared in the song.

The song itself is about railroads that have brought happiness to Tibetan people and brought together different Chinese ethnic groups. I sang this song a lot when I was young and had an immature voice, but I hadn't sung “Heavenly Road” or any of that composer’s other songs for a while because I didn’t feel comfortable singing them. There was a period in middle and high school when I wasn’t confident in my singing because I felt like my voice didn’t sound as good as before, and it became hard for me to reach high notes as my voice was changing as I grew more mature. I felt like I lost the meaning in singing. However, last year, I took some professional voice lessons and tried singing with my head voice instead of my chest voice, which I had been using throughout almost my entire life. It worked out great, and I definitely felt a lot happier with my voice. This Cabaret performance would be the first time I sang Han Hong’s songs in a long time and a step towards embracing my singing and changed voice, as I would be performing a Chinese song in front of a full-American audience.

I also chose to sing “Heavenly Road” because the singer Han Hong is someone I look up to and admire. Unlike many mainstream female Chinese singers, Han Hong is not considered physically attractive, but she has a beautiful heart. Some things she has done are adopting Han Houhou, who lost his parents due to a cable car disaster, donating and gathering funding to help alleviate poverty caused by the 2008 earthquake in Wenchuan, and founding the Han Hong Love Charity Foundation, which has donated a lot to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic in China and is the most transparent non-profit charity organization in China. Han Hong has devoted almost all her energy and income to charity for a better the world, not leaving a lot for herself.

After deciding to sing “Heavenly Road,” I immediately went on Youtube to search for a background track that would fit my singing. I decided on one quite easily and started practicing a week before the actual performance because I already knew how to sing the song. I just needed to re-memorize and perfect it. And for the seven days I had before the performance, I spent each day singing the full song about four to six times, making sure not to exhaust my voice. I felt quite confident after a few days of practicing.

With the blink of an eye, the performance day quickly approached. I wasn’t nervous about my solo performance the whole week, but as the show was starting and all the lights were turning off, I began to feel nervous. Even though I drank a lot of water, my throat began to dry up. I couldn’t swallow any more saliva as my mouth became dry. Standing behind the dark curtains that blocked my view of the audience stopped my anxiety from leaking out. I was trying to calm down while listening to the cheers other performers received, but they made me more anxious. Time went by quickly as I was counting the performances, and suddenly, I heard my name being called.

I was still nervous the moment I walked out and stepped on the small stage, but I tried to make sure that I looked confident. Bright lights shone on me, magnifying my every move and expression. Nervous at first, I wasn’t able to let my voice or emotions out fully, and I awkwardly swayed with the music; however, I temporarily closed my eyes and let go in the middle of the song. I decided it is more important to focus on expressing myself and telling my own story behind the song than making my voice sound perfect, which is rarely possible. Like railroads that have brought hope and joy to the Tibetan people and connected different Chinese ethnic groups in “Heavenly Road,” my long-lasting love for music has given me the strength to challenge myself to sing again and get out of my comfort zone and transcended language barriers. I alone knew of my previous struggles, so this performance was a major breakthrough personally for me. It went by a lot faster than I expected, and everyone clapped and cheered for me loudly, like when I sang this song in my childhood years. I put my every thought into a single, bright smile on stage and bowed. I didn’t just bow to the audience; I also bowed to myself.
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
Siddharth Kondam, 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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