At Kennedy Violins, we are passionate about building strong and healthy music communities not only locally, but nationwide. With countless music programs disappearing each year and eager students unable to afford participation in the arts, we are committed to breathe life back into music organizations in need of our support.
Kennedy Violins is constantly involved in community outreach, donating instruments and offering financial support to music programs in need. We understand that schools, youth symphonies, local festivals, and competitions won’t survive without our individual and collective efforts to keep music vibrantly alive in the world. It is our goal to strengthen the music community by
- donating to and sponsoring public school music programs
- supporting private and municipal music organizations
- providing quality instruments to musicians in need
- offering free music education through videos, articles, and more
- teaching others about the value of music in our lives
- sponsoring performances and competitions for soloists and ensembles
We welcome you to participate in the Kennedy Community! Music organizations in need of support or instrument donations are welcome to contact us at 1-800-779-0242.
Here are some of the schools and organizations to which we've made charitable contributions:
- February 25, 2012 - Gardner School: For over 15 years, the Gardner School of Arts and Sciences in Vancouver, Washington has provided a unique learning environment. Small class sizes promote individualized instruction; thematic based learning encourages deep understanding and the development of critical thinking skills; a beautiful campus allows dedicated teachers to use all facets of the environment to stimulate learning; Art, Music, PE and Spanish promote the nurturing of the whole child; and infusing and supporting all learning, Dr. Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligence Theory. Like all independent schools, they rely heavily on fundraising to support the operating expenses of the school. So, Kennedy Violins donated a Ricard Bunnel G2 violin outfit to the school’s annual auction to help them raise the funds they need to continue operating. The auction was a big success. Attendees were excited to see a complete violin outfit up for auction, and by the end of the night the Gardner School had raised the funds they needed.
- March 11, 2012 - Portland Baroque Orchestra: The mission of Portland Baroque Orchestra is to produce fresh and historically informed interpretations of music composed before 1840 for a wide audience and to educate the community, including its youth, about composers, themes and performance practices of this music through world-class professional performances and community outreach and dialogue. Like many professional orchestras nationwide, these are hard times, financially, for the PBO. Kennedy Violins teamed up with the PBO and local cellist, Hamilton Cheifetz to create a package of a new cello and introductory lessons for their annual auction. The auction was a huge success and the PBO continues to operate debt free!
- April 14, 2012 - Metropolitan Youth Symphony: The Metropolitan Youth Symphony is dedicated to offering a challenging, rewarding and fun musical experience for all young musicians in the greater Portland area. With music programs disappearing from schools all over the US, Kennedy Violins wants to support programs that are reaching out to student players of all levels as MYS does. For their Annual Viennese Ball, Kennedy Violins donated an Anton Gerard Violin Outfit to be auctioned off. During the entire evening, MYS was able to raise over $15,000 to continue their work with student musicians.
- April, 19, 2012 - Harney Elementary School: Located in Southwest Vancouver, Harney Elementary is a Title 1 school whereby 70% of its student body receives free or reduced lunch. The teachers at Harney strive to give each of our student’s a successful elementary school education. However, as we are all aware, excellent education costs money. The Harney PTO puts on several fundraising event throughout the year and they contacted Kennedy Violins. We were happy to provide some support. This year, we donated a Ricard Bunnel G2 violin to be used during their annual auction. The violin was received with much excitement and we are told that this was one of the most successful auctions for Harney to date.
- April 22, 2012 - Oregon Cello Society: Each year, the Oregon Cello Society holds auditions to identify gifted students who are not necessarily the most advanced players in their age group. Its purpose is to help young cellists at varying levels of proficiency and demonstrating outstanding talent to fulfill their potential. This year Kennedy Violins donated a Coda Bow which was awarded to a gifted eleven-year-old cellist named Hannah.
- May 1, 2012 – RASIKA: In February of this year, Kennedy Violins announced that it was seeking a local music teacher to award with a prize package including a violin outfit and accessories to beef up their resources. The deadline to apply ended May 1 and the selection process began. Out of all the applicants, there was one organization that stood out to us: Rasika School of Music and Arts. Rasika began in Portland, Oregon in 1999 with the goal of bringing the classical Indian arts to the city and surrounding areas through entertainment and education. Over the years, they have presented many dance and music concerts featuring premier performers from India. In 2010, they started the School of Music and Arts. The school has two locations in Hillsboro, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. Already, the school has approximately 75 students enrolled, making it the largest school of classical Indian music in the Northwest.
- September 7, 2012 - Stephen Foster Old Time Music Weekend: The Stephen Foster Old Time Music Weekend has been held annually since 2005 at the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park in White Springs, Florida on the banks of the beautiful and historic Suwannee River.
- October 2012: During the month of October, we will be giving our customers a choice of charities to donate a portion of the proceeds from their purchase.
- Feb 25, 2011 - Gardner School (WA), Annual Auction: 1 Ricard Bunnel G2 Violin Outfit with retail value of $499. Proceeds of the auction went to supplement the yearly budget of Gardner School. The mission of the Gardner School is to inspire students to actively seek knowledge and understanding, think independently, reason critically, and embrace challenge. Teaching to the uniqueness of each individual, they focus on the process of learning and value the exchange of ideas through collaborative work, inspiring all learners to reach their highest potential. While building knowledge of self and an awareness of our connection to others, they develop responsibility for ourselves, our community, the earth and humanity.
- April 28, 2011 - Harney Elementary School (WA), International Night Auction: 1 Ricard Bunnel G2 Violin Outfit with retail value of $499. Proceeds of the auction went to supplement the yearly budget of Harney Elementary. Harney Elementary is a Title 1 school with 70% of students on free or reduced lunch. They strive to provide quality education for all their students.
- April 10, 2011 - Columbia Gorge Fiddle Contest (OR) Fiddle Contest: $1500 donation. This donation went towards the operation costs of the festival. The Columbia Gorge Fiddle Contest is a fixture and often has contestants from 5 states.
- May 3, 2011 - Metropolitan Youth Symphony (OR), Viennese Ball Silent Auction: Anton Gerard Violin Outfit valued at $600. Proceeds of the auction went directly to support the programs that MYS offers. MYS serves musicians from 450 families in the NW. They offer twelve ensembles with four levels of orchestra and three levels of band. Through their tuition assistance program, we ensure that no young musician is turned away because of their family’s financial situation. Each year around $40,000 is needed from donations to continue.
- September 2011 - Joplin School District (MO), SAI Philanthropies: 7 violin outfits and 2 viola outfits. On May 22, 2011, the city of Joplin, Missouri was hit by a tornado that damaged or destroyed a majority of the schools. Kennedy Violins sent nine instrument outfits to Joplin Schools to replace those lost or damaged in the tornado.
- September 2011 - Capitol Elementary of Phoenix Elementary District No. 1 (AZ), SAI Philanthropoies: 8 violin outfits. Capitol is a K-8 school with close to 700 students that attend school-wide. It is a Title 1 school with 100% of students on free lunch. 98% of the student body are from Spanish speaking families. Last year, the music program had 85 kids involved but only 22 playable instruments for students to use--that’s 3 kids for each instrument!
- November 2011 - Williamstown String Program (WV), SAI Philanthropies: 9 viola outfits and 2 cello outfits. Williamstown, West Virginia is a small town with a low socio-economic status. There was a thriving string program here until the late 70s and early 80s when numbers started to dwindle and the program was cut. In 2006, Jane Pickering and Ashley Clark started a Suzuki Strings program. Today there are 150 students between 1st and 11th grade, but there is no available funding for the program.
Here are some of the youth orchestras we've sponsored:
- Portland Youth Phillharmonic
- Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra
- Metropolitan Youth Symphony
- American Youth Symphony
- American Youth Phillharmonic Orchestra
- Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra
- Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra
- Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra of Atlanta
- New York Youth Symphony
Here are some of the string organizations we've worked with in 2011: