Imagine that you’re a talented young violinist. Your greatest wish is to become a professional musician, sharing your joy in music-making with your audiences and enriching the lives of the next generation. You diligently practice for many hours every day, developing your potential through hard work.
Circumstances have been difficult at home lately. Your parents are looking for work and struggling to pay the bills. However, you qualify for a scholarship at your music school and your lessons continue uninterrupted. It seems like everything’s going to be okay. Or is it?
You learned your last concerto really quickly, and your teacher says you’re ready to start the Tchaikovsky right away. Mom and Dad are proud, but now they’re also worried. How are you going to pay for the cost of the sheet music?
The Tchaikovsky Concerto will be the perfect piece to play in an upcoming contest to which you’ve been aspiring. Participating in this competition will be an important learning opportunity and give you valuable performance experience. You want share your excitement with Mom and Dad, but there are so many concerns. How will you be able to afford the entrance fee, your piano accompanist, new strings for your violin, new bow hair, and even the gas and tolls for the trip?
As you sit down with your parents to try to figure things out, you suddenly realize that next year’s college auditions are right around the corner. If things don’t improve for your family, how will you cover the cost of your audition recording sessions and the airfare and hotels to attend the live auditions?
The obstacles seem insurmountable. Clearly, achieving your dreams will take more than talent and hard work. Where can you turn for help?
Answers: the Rachel Barton Pine (RBP) Foundation.
The RBP Foundation has continued its exponential growth throughout 2010. We are currently supporting more than 50 young artists ages 12-29 with our Grants for Education and Career and Instrument Loan Program. Just as in the scenario above, each of these young artists has a compelling personal story of musical achievement and each of them is struggling with severe financial challenges. It would be a tragedy to have to turn away any deserving young artist in need. With your help, they will all be able to continue pursuing their musical dreams.
The RBP Foundation is working to transform the lives of young musicians in many ways. Our curriculum project, Music by Black Composers, is getting ever closer to the home stretch! Our research team at the University of Michigan has done a wonderful job collecting more than 200 pieces for violin by composers of African descent. These composers include men and women from America, Europe, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, spanning from the 1700s to the present day.
Most of this music is currently unavailable to students because it’s either in manuscript only or has long been out of print. Our series will help restore Black classical composers and string players to their rightful place in history by presenting repertoire, composer biographies, and history articles. Beginning and advanced string students of all races and ethnicities will be inspired by these beautiful pieces, learning that classical music is a universal language that brings all of us together.
Musicians young and old have been coming together to help their fellow musicians in developing countries through Global HeartStrings. An unprecedented number of supply drives have taken place in 2010. High school and college students have collected instruments and accessories at their churches, youth orchestras and music schools; music teachers have stationed supply drop boxes in their studios; and members of alumnae chapters of the Sigma Alpha Iota women’s music fraternity have gathered gently-used items from friends and colleagues. Thanks to these generous efforts, the RBP Foundation was able to help replace some of the many instruments broken in a devastating earthquake in Chile earlier this year. But we cannot accomplish all that we need to without your help, as well.
The future of classical music depends on supporting talented students and young professional musicians during the early, formative years of their development. With your help, these young artists will inspire the next generations as they provide the world with many years of beautiful music. Your gift is truly the gift of a lifetime.