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May 2022 Newsletter

Michael Tacy

Inspiring Hope!
May 2022
CHECK OUT OUR NEW PLAYLIST PORTAL!

♩ Director’s Corner

Keerthana Srinivasan is a Tacy alumna who returned to us during COVID when she was at the University of Maryland. She pioneered the Foundation’s Private YouTube Playlist to give our student volunteers a vehicle to continue their relationships with the seniors. In lockdown, the students could go nowhere, and they really missed playing and visiting on weekends with the seniors. The playlist became the means to continue their relationships and visits from a place of safety for both parties. It became important to keep up the morale of the seniors as well as the children, so we continued to send music and make cards with messages from the kids; we sent pages of jokes, seasonal artwork and other things that would interest seniors, such as coloring books and crossword puzzles. The seniors invited us back first when the doors opened again. Keerthana's idea to create a private playlist became the channel for 500 performances in 2020-2021. A second playlist is now being utilized for 2021-2022. And very importantly, her idea opened up a new world of opportunity to serve to hundreds of youth in our area.

As we were finalizing our May newsletter, we learned that Keerthana has been accepted to medical school at Drexler! We are so happy for this well-deserved opportunity. Below is her note and photo.
 
I hope you are doing well! I just wanted to let you know that I have received an acceptance from the MD/PhD program at Drexel University. I am very excited to attend the program this fall. Thank you so much for your guidance through these past few years. I have learned so much about leadership under your tutelage and what it means to inspire hope with music! I am so glad I have gotten an opportunity to work with extremely talented children. Thank you for your mentorship and excellent recommendation letter that has allowed me to reach this point. I hope to continue working with The Tacy Foundation and mentor other students so we can take our mission, inspiring hope and healing, to greater heights! 
Keerthana introducing The Tacy Foundation Private YouTube Playlist idea to volunteers shortly after the Covid pandemic began.
Children’s Hospital is one of the institutions that has benefitted. We continue to send links of private playlists for the children there. The YouTube videos are sent out on the hospital’s closed circuit TV station. These efforts make our music easily accessible to everyone there. The foresight of Keerthana has proven to bridge the huge gap of separation from us and our people who are needing encouragement.
Tacy Foundation Note to Children’s Hospital:
 
Dear Dana,
 
For Children's patients and for their families, The Tacy Foundation would love to send a donation of thank you cards and music from children and teens in the Nation’s Capital Area.  We are prepared to mail a box of cards should you request them. In the meantime, we send the songs and stories on the links below as our deepest gratitude for you all.
 
During the past two years, youth of all ages in the nation's capital area have been busy sending music videos to a Tacy Foundation YouTube Private Playlist. From their homes, they have built a Virtual Concert Library of nearly 500 songs of their favorite songs for seniors and hospitals. There is a 2nd list for 2021-22 should you request this. Here is the 2020-2021 private youtube link:   


https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLP79LRuvZ1YLOn_f1l3o9LRSeuo6QAQ9y [youtube.com]
 
Below is the Link for Reading Express for children. It is a private playlist in order to protect some books that have written copyright permissions by authors. A child can go anywhere in his or her imagination. To that end, we send stories, read by children for children, during COVID and beyond. The link contains 155 children's books read by kids for your patients. It can be aired on closed circuit TV directly to the children. Here it is:


https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLL7QdivcJmnis4fDF3dC-ykyHO8hyPTzB [youtube.com]
 
May the music play on in your hearts and the stories bring you the gratitude we have for all patients!
 
Charlotte Holliday, Executive Director

 
Children’s Hospital Response:
 
Greetings Tacy Foundation,
 
Thank you so much for your dedication to our patients, families, and staff here at Children's National. It is because of community partners like you that help us to make the hospital experience a little bit easier through the arts at a time when we need it most!
 
Although we are unable to accept cards due to our COVID-19 protocols, I am excited to share this wonderful video library. Please thank all the pianists and teachers who have helped to create this library. This is a wonderful artistic message that shows the music, stories, and the gratitude that you have for our families.
 
Please continue to send the video libraries and well-wishes. We really appreciate all that you do! Thank you.
 
Sincerely,
 
Dana Kristina-Joi Morgan M.Mus, Piano
Performance Coordinator
Creative & Therapeutic Arts Services
Dept. Child Life & Integrative Care Services
Children’s National Hospital
Brief Update from Needham, MA Tacy Club
 
As first reported in our February newsletter, a group of musicians have initiated musical performances inspired by our activities in the DC/Maryland/Virginia area. Matthew Weber and his team at Needham, MA are pioneers in that part of the Northeast. Here is a brief update from Matthew.
 
I hope you are well. I want to give you a brief update: yesterday [March 16], other musicians and I went to perform at Needham Center at the Heights, performing a wide variety of music, including classical, jazz, and patriotic tunes. We played for an audience of about 30 people. Below are some pictures of us playing. 
 
We’re also working to begin our partnership with another facility in the area. We’ll keep you posted!  -- Matthew Weber

A Day to Remember: The Show Must Go On

 
In late 2021, The Seneca of Rockville became the Tacy Foundation’s newest venue. My son Harrison, a junior at Churchill HS, and I happily agreed to act as chief intern and parent supervisor for the residence. In December, we held our first celebratory program in a pretty space decked out for the holidays. January and February concerts were unfortunately postponed while we waited for Omicron to settle down, so we eagerly anticipated a return to live music in March.

The morning of the concert, Harrison woke with a slight fever, so we asked violinist Alan Whitman, a friend of ours and a junior at Montgomery Blair HS, if he would be willing to run the program that afternoon. He agreed, and 2:15pm found him climbing into my Subaru with a (thankfully large, as it turned out!) pile of unaccompanied Bach, his violin and our bright red Tacy welcome sign.

Alan set up upstairs in the memory care unit while I waited in the lobby for four expected students. Much confusion ensued as several black-clad members of a youth trombone choir (yes, a trombone choir!), many of whom participate regularly in Tacy Foundation events, arrived for a separate concert. Ten minutes before our event was to begin, a new volunteer who had signed up for his first performance just that morning, pianist Jason Riedel, thankfully appeared with his mom. I escorted them from the sea of brass instruments to the unit upstairs, then returned to the lobby to wait for more Tacy musicians.

And…none appeared. Eventually, I realized it was futile. No one was coming.
I went back upstairs and quietly entered the room. Alan was playing beautifully, and the rapt crowd seemed very appreciative. Then, with supreme confidence that concealed he was a newcomer, Jason got up to play. Then Alan. Then Jason. Then Alan. And so on, and so on, filling a miraculous hour with the music of just two students. Both boys went through everything they’d brought, with the result that the seniors enjoyed a memorable and meaningful performance. As Charlotte later wrote, “it was a remarkable, generous, humble example of the kids’ resilience and depth. Lessons in valor and courage…and ingenuity, to say the least.”
Alan Whitman, unaccompanied, playing Bach and many other works.
Jason Riedel playing a wide repertoire on the piano — quite unexpectedly.
What a first experience for Jason, and for Alan as impromptu chief intern! It was a heartening experience for me as site supervisor, to know we could make it work with just two well-prepared musicians and a willing audience. (That being said, please show up for your sign-ups unless you are ill or have a family emergency!) I’m grateful to have witnessed this most special Tacy performance and applaud these two young men for their kindness, skill, and dedication. – Trudi Benford
A Meaningful Performance at NIH

On Thursday, April 14th, seven teens (the maximum number allowed during Covid) played their beautiful music at National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Research Center as part of the Live Music for Hospitals Projects. The printed program was designed by Riona Sheikh, a sophomore at Richard Montgomery High School. There were compositions by Rachmaninoff, Chopin, JS Bach, and Beethoven.


The lunch tables were full of people waiting for treatment, doctors and research technicians taking a lunch break, and caregivers of patients.

After the program finished, a tall gentleman in a white coat wandered from the snack bar over toward the piano. This doctor seemed to have a very deep interest in the music. As the students gathered around him, he asked if the 9' instrument met with their approval. As he spoke, the teens learned that Dr. Linehan and his wife, also a doctor, donated the fine instrument to the hospital, knowing that music has an important place in healing people and in uplifting them through their recovery.

Dr. Linehan, a pioneer in the study of the genetic basis of kidney cancer and Chief of the Urologic Oncology Branch in the Center for Cancer Research, described how the 9’ grand piano was selected and donated to the Clinical Research Center. Speaking personably to the aspiring teen musicians, he told the story of a renowned pianist who lost the use of his right hand at the height of his career. Dr. Linehan knew the pianist Leon Fleisher, who for 30 years searched all over the world for a cure from focal dystonia, the condition that destroyed the use of his right hand. Finally, in 1995, after Mr. Fleisher was treated with a new treatment at NIH, the use of his right hand was restored. His subsequent album, Two Hands, became a best seller.
Performers talking with Dr. Linehan
Dr. Linehan showed portraits of Presidents William Clinton, George Bush, and Barack Obama and described their visits to NIH, and particularly to his lab. Humbly and kindly, he encouraged the young musicians to persevere, telling them of the 28 years of trial and error to find a cure for just one kind of cancer.

The Events Manager, Deborah Accame, expressed warmth and gratitude to all of the musicians. She told them that a patient sitting in the audience was about to her to learn if her cancer was in remission or not. The music brought her peace and comfort, and she was so thankful for this moment.
Music at Holy Cross Hospital
 
On Saturday, April 9th, Tacy Foundation volunteers and their parents came to Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring to lift the hearts and spirits of patients, staff, and visitors as they entered and left the hospital. It was our hope and intention that the music would fill all 527 beds in the hospital. 
 
We hand-delivered 550 handmade cards to the Volunteer Office. Their colorful designs and encouraging words were intended to inspire hope.
Maximilian Belyentsev (Chief Intern, standing), Ms. Holliday (piano), Michelle Nee (violin),
Stella Jalickee
Zack Lam
Kevin Wu
Michelle Nee
Ella Tzeng
Maximilian Belyantsev
Another “Great Performance”

On April 10, during spring break, Tacy volunteers played for seniors at Hunters Woods, a senior assisted-living facility in Reston, VA. Everyone played so well, and the seniors had lots of great things to say about the performers. Another concert is scheduled for May 14th. -- Matthew Kim (Chief Intern)

Piano Love - Caroline Su
 
I am a 7th grader at Longfellow MS and an accomplished junior pianist who has won many awards in regional and international competitions. I’ve been studying piano since I was six years old, and my teacher is Ms. Lisa Emenheiser Sarratt. I love playing the instrument because of the wide range of genres and the vast amount of works written for it. I enjoy exploring different piano composers from different periods of music. My favorite composers are Chopin, Beethoven, and Debussy. I have developed a bond with this intricate instrument and find myself constantly looking forward to diving into the next repertoire, whether it be a whimsical and light prelude, or a deep and charismatic ballade. 


I recently joined the Tacy Foundation and have performed twice already at assisted-living communities on behalf of the foundation. I joined because I wanted to connect with people through my music. Music is so powerful: through music I am able to create joy and other emotions in folks that I’ve never met. I find that very gratifying. It is also a great way for me to give back to society.

I'm so glad to be a part of the Tacy Foundation.  -- Caroline Su
 
Awarding Experiences
 
Hi! My name is Anaya Mayer, and I am a seventh grader at Cabin John MS. I received the President's Volunteer Service Award for my service of 60.7 SSL Hours in one calendar year with the Tacy Foundation. The task was to create packets of puzzles for the elderly and, on the cover of these packets, put inspirational quotes. This is important because the pandemic had isolated everyone in the entire world, and the seniors took the biggest impact. By creating these custom packets, I provided activities for them to do! Sometimes, seniors feel forgotten and lonely, and the packets that are sent to them are a reminder that people like me care about them. When I received the award, I was very happy and proud of myself that I did something good for this community. I am grateful to the Tacy Foundation for giving me an opportunity to contribute to this cause, and I am definitely going to continue completing SSL hours with them.


My name is Avin Mayer. I am a 6th grade student at Cabin John Middle School. I played piano songs for people in the hospital and made packets of tiny activities for the elderly. Music makes people happy so I thought that if you play a piano for people who are having a tough time, they could feel happiness. The packets were activities in case they ever felt bored or lonely. This project was for the Tacy Foundation, which helps raise the spirits of elders and others. Getting the award made me think that I contributed a lot to the Tacy Foundation’s mission and motivated me to do more. 
 
 
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
          Seniors
          Children
          Teens
          Service members
          Veterans
          Injured/sick
          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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