Students and their music are the life blood of the Tacy Foundation, but we also need to remember how much we owe to the parents of these student volunteers. It’s gratifying to hear that these caring adults value the foundation’s role in their children’s lives.
For Lei McCabe finding the Tacy Foundation was a matter of chance.
I found Tacy Foundation on the internet. I just did a Google search for volunteer opportunities for a pianist,” she said. “Originally, I wanted to use my own piano skills.”
McCabe didn’t think the foundation would have opportunities for someone as young as her daughter, Kaylia, who is only five.
“I did not think that she would be capable enough to make a contribution. I was so excited when I first talked to Charlotte (the foundation president) over the phone. I was thrilled that the foundation had created volunteer opportunities for kids who play music.”
McCabe also says that the Tacy Foundation values mean a lot to her as a parent. She likes that the foundation allows talented students to share their abilities with recovering patients, seniors and other community members facing challenges.
“I believe the foundation is doing a great thing,’ she said. “It teaches kids who play music that there is more to their art than competitions. It shows them that their music can make a big difference for our society by benefitting people around them.”
Another parent, Ke Yang, said that she agreed that the Tacy Foundation helps students see that while victory at a competition is a laudable achievement, helping others through music can be rewarding as well. Her daughter, Alena Lu, played Rondo Capriccioso by Felix Mendelssohn at the Hebrew Home in Rockville, accompanied by Michael Xie. Their performance wowed the residents. It also impressed Richard Pedersen, the Tacy volunteer who hosts the Hebrew Home concerts, and Foundation Leader Charlotte Holliday.
“Alena worked hard. She was a very self-motivated participant because she can understand that learning piano is not only for a competition, but is also a way to help people,” said Yang. “That’s why we will continue to follow the Tacy Foundation in its mission of "inspiring hope, note by note,"’.
Xiaomei Li said her son, Michael Xie, values his volunteer work in spite of a heavy class schedule in the International Baccalaureate at Richard Montgomery High School. Michael is also considering participating in the Piano Pals program which offers free music lessons to low-income seniors and youth.
“The daily practice is no longer a dull chore, it serves a purpose,” said Li. “Now he thinks about how his music can uplift people's souls and bring back happy memories of a senior. He thinks about how it can to help hospital patients to find courage and peace, and so much more.”