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.
We thank all music teachers for their behind-the-scenes presence through the many volunteers who play regularly. These teachers encourage and enable their students to connect with real people. The people who enjoy the performances receive the healing elements of music as well as the invigorating energy of youth who have come to visit and play. Youth and music are the very best medicine for seniors, I am told by Activity Directors in all the assisted living facilities where we play.
We send our heartfelt gratitude for their many hours of inspiring service to the 40+ graduating high school seniors who have collaborated with the Foundation. As we reminisce about their radiant presence here during the past years, we share their excitement about their next adventures in the colleges across the country. They have a standing ovation from all of us here and an open invitation to come back any time to visit and offer their adult leadership. Thank you all, seniors!
As graduates leave the nest, young children and teens are discovering that their music is very much needed in hospitals and senior communities. And so, the cycle continues. I am so grateful for the volunteers in grades 8-11 who already show mature leadership and who are growing in mastery of their musical instruments. And in those in grades 1-7, we find a deep caring and a strong connection with music and healing as they have learned to share music for others to enjoy. The ever-widening circle of artists’ lives continues. And their experiences give wings to the emergence of true philanthropy.
Welcome, Summer! Time to rest and play … play music, of course. I plan to visit a musical event at each of the 27 senior facilities and four hospitals at least once this summer, traffic permitting. Seeing and hearing your music inspires hope in others and restores my soul.
See you soon at a senior facility or hospital where you volunteer! Happy Summer!
Our best wishes to the senior musicians who are opening new chapters in their lives’ journeys.
Below are the names of the 2023 Graduating High School Seniors.
Each one has received a Distinguished Leadership Award.
Wilson (Qi Wei) Chen
Matthew T. Weber
Collage formatted by Winnie Chen.
Reflections of a Few Seniors
►Being with the Tacy Foundation has been a wonderful experience that has given me so many volunteer opportunities through which I could share music with others. Because I am now a graduating senior, my days of sending in videos or performing for the elderly as a high schooler are coming to a close. However, as I reflected on the time I spent here, I realized that while I gave my music to others, the organization has gifted me with something both unforgettable and precious.
When I first joined the Tacy Foundation, I remember being riddled with anxiety as I walked toward the piano at a local senior center. The smiles of the elderly did not assuage my nerves, and my foremost goal in playing was to end my turn as quickly as possible. For several performances, I confess, I bore the role of the preoccupied player who was more focused on playing impeccably than blessing the dear, listening ears with genuine music.
However, the day Mrs. Holliday invited me to play for patients at the NIH, my focus shifted completely. After performing in the atrium, a woman approached us, tearfully passing on the words of a patient that I will never forget: “The music was calling to me.” It was then that I fully realized that I could connect with others and touch the hearts of many with the beautiful, wordless language of music. Since then, I have viewed volunteering as a time of fun and a source of joy, as I know that the songs that I play will bless at least one listening ear.
I will be forever grateful to Mrs. Holliday and the Tacy Foundation for cultivating my motivation to help others through music and for enabling me to change my mindset of a competitive pianist to that of a selfless giver. Who cares about a few wrong notes when you are blessing those who are in want of hope? Play not to satisfy the pride of performing without mistakes but rather to share the joy of music and to speak words of comfort through the language of melody. This is a piece of advice that the Tacy Foundation has gifted me and that I would like to pass on the next generation of volunteers! Lastly, thank you to the foundation for teaching me such a wonderful lesson that I will carry with me throughout college and beyond! -- Lauren Kim
►It's been wonderful volunteering in nursing homes throughout VA and broadening my perspective. As I leave for college, it'll be a bittersweet moment, but I will surely continue spreading joy through music. I've really enjoyed working with you and Alison — you are all so enthusiastic and welcoming. Thank you, Ms. Holliday, for this valuable experience, and I hope the Tacy Foundation will continue to thrive!
-- Angie Zhang
►I just wanted to give a big thank you to Ms. Holliday for everything over the past six years I've been a part of the Tacy Foundation. This foundation has influenced me so much throughout middle and high school, and I'm so grateful for the opportunities you have helped expose me to. Piano Pals was undoubtedly the activity I valued most over the past few years, and being a chief intern for Clopper Mill this year was such an experience. I've loved each and every student I worked with as a mentor! I am looking forward to popping by future hospital performances or helping out with Piano Pals whenever I'm back in town from college. Thank you for everything Ms. Holliday!
-- Ella Phillippy
►On May 26, I capped my years as a violinist with my senior recital at the Peabody Conservatory, in the Hilda and Douglas Goodwin Recital Hall. The performance featured a diverse mix of classical masterpieces, contemporary melodies, and even some toe-tapping tunes that had people humming along.
I have dedicated time as a Tacy Foundation volunteer musician in various places, such as the law offices of Brownstein, Hyatt Farber Schreck, and community retirement centers. One of my most cherished experiences during high school was establishing a Tacy Foundation community at the Kimmel Cancer Center. Unfortunately, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic hampered live performances. However, my determination and love for music persevered, and I found a way to continue sharing music with the retirement centers from home in Dallas, Texas, via Zoom.
My family and I were very saddened to hear about the passing of Mr. Sloman. We will never forget my first lesson with him when he asked me how often I practiced. I responded proudly, "about 30 minutes a day!" Well, you can imagine what Mr. Sloman's response was to that! I think my eyes got huge when Mr. Sloman said, "Well, Lizzie, what do you think about practicing three hours daily?" I will forever cherish his fun, light-heartedness, and viola jokes that made the hours of practice all worthwhile.
My family and I would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Charlotte Holliday, whose dedication to promoting joy through music has been pivotal in inspiring my journey. Through my volunteer work, I believe I have brought happiness and a sense of connection to countless individuals, especially those in retirement centers.
– Lizzie Boyson
One of Many Fine Performances
I was invited to and very much enjoyed Harrison Benford’s senior recital on May 12 at Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church. The event was outstanding in every way!
Harrison has volunteered for the Foundation for four years— whenever he could manage. His mother Trudi and his father have been so supportive of his interest and development as a young artist. She has contributed to the newsletter from time to time. Last month, she wrote about a performance at the Hebrew Home and how the seniors’ responses were much stronger with familiar music.
The Joy of Spreading Kindness
Eric Zou, Cards Chief Intern
Volunteering with the Tacy Foundation has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. Coordinating with the card project team, performing music for seniors and hospital patients, and creating, collecting, sorting, and delivering cards to persons in need has been an amazing journey.
Here is my story:
Throughout 2019 and 2020, I volunteered as a trumpet player in senior centers and hospitals around Montgomery County. Playing music for seniors brings joy, happiness, and emotional support to their lives during challenging times, and I greatly enjoyed utilizing my skills to help others. After the pandemic began, I volunteered as a card creator from 2021 to 2022, sharing warm messages and showing care and love to those in need, particularly senior citizens, hospital patients, and persons affected by disasters. From 2022 onwards, I served as a Cards Chief Intern in various card projects for which I had previously prepared cards, using my leadership and organization skills in addition to my creativity.
Through the Tacy Foundation, I have developed strong leadership and interpersonal skills. I coordinate with other volunteers to create, distribute, collect, sort, organize, and deliver warm messages and cards to various groups, including senior citizens, hospital patients, military veterans, first responders, and anyone else who needed emotional support. As a Chief Intern, I worked closely with other interns, volunteers, and instructors. Effective communication and teamwork are keys to ensuring that our cards are delivered in a timely manner. By collecting and distributing cards to and from others, I have learned how to connect with people, bring joy and happiness to them, provide comfort and support, reduce their stress and anxiety, and let them know that others care for them.
I am grateful for all the experience volunteering at the Tacy Foundation has given me, and I encourage you to join the team and make a difference.
Appreciation for Tacy Foundation Cards
Karina Willis-Lara, Adult Supervisor Card Projects
In last month’s newsletter, we shared the highlights from our cheerful get-well cards for hospital patients. One of the facilities that received the cards was the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Our cards, along with CDs, were also shared with the NIH Clinical Research Center Patient Library. The CDs were taken from videos sent to us from our volunteer soloists, prepared by sound engineers Mike Engel and Nacio Chavez, and the programs were printed by Mcpadnet and designed by Ana Eastep.
Marie Kaplan, NIH librarian, shared the following message to you, our volunteers.
“Once again, let me extend a heartfelt thanks to you and all the wonderful Tacy Foundation students for the beautiful music and thoughtful and very amusing get-well cards for the Clinical Center patients. We have a display of the cards on our center table for the patients along with some of the Tacy student music performances on CD. The patients are so grateful for the kindness and for knowing that they are remembered on their difficult healing journeys.
We so appreciate all that you and your students did for the patients, especially during the Covid shutdown. With the music recordings, your foundation turned what was a grim pandemic period into a prolonged moment of grace.”
Another project we completed was for the Nashville, Tennessee community that experienced a tragic loss of life. Our cards were mailed to The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee. We just received a postcard from the school with the following message to you, our volunteers.
“Dear Tacy Foundation, Thank you so much for your prayers and support of our school. We are touched by your kindness and the cards you sent. Blessings, The Covenant School.”
As always, thank you to everyone who participates in our Cards Projects. Right now, we are accepting miliary thank you cards for service members and their families. The cards are due by June 25, so please email us at email@example.com for all projects and to receive the guidelines.
A Note from Richard Pedersen, President, The Tacy Foundation
Hello, everyone. Yesterday the Tacy Foundation received a beautiful thank you card from The Covenant School in Nashville, TN.
I want to thank you personally. Thank you, Mario and Rukmani and Matthew and Eric, and everyone for your creativity and dedication to the Cards Project. And thank you to Ms. Willis-Lara for extending her long-term commitment to so many shipments of cards….
Congratulations to you all. Indeed, keep up the good work!
Kenji Yokote, Tacy Foundation Volunteer
(inside of card)
Kydia, Hadassah and Madnavu Schwartz,
Tacy Foundation Volunteers
A Fundraiser at Heritage Church in Cincinnati, OH
On May 21st, The Heritage Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Cincinnati, Ohio celebrated the retirement of Les Tacy, Director of Music. Les selected The Tacy Foundation as the charity to send donations in celebration of this blessed time of his life.
Les serves as Treasurer on the Board of The Tacy Foundation, Inc. His son Michael teaches the popular Composer’s Circle Program that engages youth in composing music and learning how to notate their work. The work “Currents” composed and created on a poignant video by Lumina Zhang was shown at this event in Cincinnati.
Sharing Our Abundance: The Tacy Foundation
For May 20 – 26, donate on Sunday at Heritage, or online. Our donations go to an organization that celebrates the power of hope and healing by providing opportunities for children to learn, compose, and perform music for hospital patients, members of the armed services, and more. Learn more and donate at The Tacy Foundation.
Wishing Les many years of meaningful and healthy retirement.
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
Individuals who want to serve
How We Serve (Programs)
Live music concerts
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.