March 2024 Newsletter

March 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 continue to grow! We are offering live-music programs in 26 senior facilities, seven hospitals, including Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and NIH Clinical Research Center Building.


Here is the list of assisted-living and independent-living facilities where we currently play live music monthly for seniors:

Arleigh Burke Pavilion in McLean, VA

Hunters Woods at Trails Edge in Reston, VA

Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg, MD

Shady Grove Nursing in Rockville, MD

Brightview Great Falls, VA

Sterling Care Rockville Nursing, in Rockville, MD

Brightview Fair Oaks in Reston, VA

Sunrise Bedford Court in Silver Spring, MD

Brightview Grosvenor in Bethesda, MD

Sunrise Brighton Gardens in Chevy Chase, MD

Brightview West End in Rockville, MD

Sunrise Hunter Mill in Oakton, VA

Brightview Woodmont in Bethesda, MD

Sunrise McLean in McLean, VA

Brookdale Senior Living in Olney, MD

Sunrise Rockville in MD

Eden Gainsborough in Potomac, MD

Tall Oaks Assisted Living in Reston, VA

Eden Liberty Lane in Potomac, MD

The Seneca of Rockville, MD

Falcon's Landing in Sterling, VA

Waltonwood Senior Living in Ashburn, VA

Harmony at Chantilly, VA

Waverly Place HOC in Bethesda, MD

Hebrew Home Landow House, Rockville, MD      

Worldshine Senior Medical Day Care in Frederick, MD      

In addition to 26 senior facilities, youth volunteers play their music at Holy Cross Hospitals in Silver Spring and Germantown, MD; Hopkins hospitals; Sibley Memorial in Washington, DC; Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, MD; and coming this spring, Howard General Hospital in Columbia, MD. The hospitals events offer weekly and bi-weekly opportunities for volunteers to bring their messages of hope and healing.


We have been invited to offer a concert series at the National Institutes of Health, Clinical Research Center Hall of Hope in Bethesda, MD. The NIH librarian has also asked that we play music on Tuesday evenings, starting in the summer, on the 7th floor adjacent to the Patient Library.


Our volunteer musicians play mostly classical music as they prepare for competition and graded recitals with their excellent music teachers. All instrumental and vocal music, as well as a variety of styles, including jazz, are very much encouraged.


The volunteer staff, young musicians, and their parents continue to serve with vibrancy and kindness wherever they go. Please keep these families in your thoughts and prayers as they serve with dignity, dedication, and diligence.  


In February, the Piano Pals program at Tanglewood, a Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Facility in Silver Spring, MD, suffered an unfortunate loss. All seven keyboards and a guitar were stolen. After breaking into the building in the middle of the night, the thief was shown on the security camera taking every one of the keyboards from the storage area. Tanglewood has welcomed the Piano Pals program since 2017. This incident stimulated the same response as earlier ones to obstacles along our community-service journey: dedicated people rallied with hope and quick action.



As the police began investigating the break-in, people shared stories of changed lives among mentors and children through this program. Tacy Foundation parents quickly came through with donations to replace the stolen instruments with new keyboards. Classes resumed the next Saturday, February 26th, as scheduled. Thank you for your support and resolve to continue.


We are so very grateful for everyone’s immediate response and continued support!


With courage we move forward into the spring season.

The Importance of Service

Selene Lu, Khoa Hoang, Zack Lam, Tarun Senthil, and Samantha Rafiqul

Music by Composer’s Circle Founder Featured in Play at Rockville Community Theater

Damian Miia Benskin

Musical compositions by George Henry Benskin V, a founder of the Tacy Foundation Composer’s Circle, were featured in the Rockville Little Theater’s production of The Grapes of Wrath. George arranged and provided digital recordings for the background and incidental music for the show, a stage play adapted from John Steinbeck’s classic novel, which opened on January 26th and ran through February 4th. He is a 24-year-old senior at George Mason University’s Dewberry Family School of Music, a Co-Music Director at the United Church of Christ of Seneca Valley, and a former teacher at Charlotte Holliday’s piano studio. He has composed songs every year since 2008 for the Tacy Foundation CDs and USBs that have been donated to hospitals and Fisher Houses, including a solo album titled “Someday.” George’s other compositions include ensemble pieces for a new music-collective and original soundtracks for numerous video games and short films.

George Benskin with John Bartkowiak, the show’s director.

Excellent Article on The Tacy Foundation


The MOCO Student newsletter recently published an excellent article on the Foundation, written by volunteer Huan Changvu.

Read The Article Here!

The Benefits of Music

As previous articles in this newsletter have reported, playing a musical instrument has many benefits for the musicians (and hopefully for listeners!). A recent posting on BBC provides additional evidence: Playing a musical instrument good for brain health in later life - study  (Thanks to Trudi Benford for forwarding this link.)


Some comments by Huan Changvu on this article:

It is encouraging to see that music therapy is becoming more recognized in society as a beneficial part of addressing cognitive challenges, particularly in the senior population. The difference between passively listening to music versus actually playing an instrument has been studied by scientists. While listening engages only the auditory and visual cortices, the act of striking the piano keys to create a melody also involves the fine motor dexterity that is controlled by the two hemispheres of our brains. Aside from the social aspect of interacting with others, which is so relevant to one’s overall health, playing an instrument may rewire our brain to make it nimbler. I am grateful that the Tacy Foundation’s Piano Pals for Seniors program has allowed me to not only spread the joy of music to others, but also that there are evidential medical benefits to the senior musicians as well.


Cadence Corner

Davanee Li and Yuhan Li

Hello everyone! We recently started a service project that strives to make music education more available to underserved students and music lovers. We would love to invite all Tacy members to participate! Your selfless dedication to bringing music to people who normally lack access to high-quality performances is so rare, and it is that exact attitude that we are looking for. Whereas Tacy brings music through performance, we aim to provide written content about music for everyone with internet access. Music is so meaningful when it's being shared, and we really hope to have a national impact. Below is some general information concerning our project:


Cadence Corner is a free online music publication run by full-time middle and high school students who seek to increase the accessibility of music resources, as well as offer a platform for student musicians to share their stories and experiences. We publish issues every two months that spotlight unique musical works and composers, discuss current events in the music world, provide resources for practice or managing performance anxiety, and offer personalized tips for musicians through private 1:1 sessions with our professionally trained staff. We are currently looking to recruit contributing writers and staff members. Our website will provide you with the application form and job descriptions.


Below is a general timeline of a typical publishing cycle:


  • Staff pitch-meetings take place every other month, followed by staff assigning specific articles to contributing writers.

  • Contributing writers turn in their drafts within two weeks of the date at which their articles were assigned.

  • Articles are edited and refined over the course of another two weeks, then published onto the official website.

  • Following the publication of a batch of issues, the social media team and graphic design team work together to promote each issue on social media platforms.

Students looking to apply should be willing to dedicate around three hours every other month to the publication, and in turn we are offering experience working with a high-quality publication that both highlights participants’ dedication to music as well as their contributions to the musical community. Community service hours can be earned by those who consistently show attention to detail in the articles they write and/or edit, as well as commitment to their position(s).


Feel free to email any of us for more information, and the Cadence Corner staff looks forward to working with all of you!


Yuhan Li, Editor in Chief (

Davanee Li, Creative Director (


Tacy Volunteers Who Will Graduate in 2024

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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