October 8, 2013
The Elementary Choral Festival featured more than 300 fifth-grade students from CFISD coming together for a rousing performance last April at the Berry Center.
Oct. 8, 2013—Local nonprofit organization Cy-Hope recently announced donations totaling $9,549.47 to support three music initiatives in CFISD.
Cy-Hope, whose mission is to make life better for children in the Cy-Fair community, presented the following grants in September:
$3,900 for an initiative to provide clinicians and master classes for band, choir and orchestra students at secondary schools with 60 percent of students qualifying for free or reduced lunches;
$2,649.47 to develop a “Science Rocks!” curriculum integration initiative that will serve all 53 elementary schools; and
$3,000 to support perpetuating the annual Elementary Choral Festival, a memorable performance experience for more than 300 fifth-grade students at the Berry Center.
Dr. Betty Devine, a member of the Cy-Hope Advisory Board and the pastor of worship ministry at The Foundry United Methodist Church, was instrumental in allocating the grant money for CFISD students. A former school choir director, Dr. Devine organized multiple concerts to benefit the Cy-Hope music initiatives:
The Houston Symphonic Band, directed by Fred Angerstein, held two concerts at The Foundry last year, collecting a love offering to benefit Cy-Hope on each occasion. Donations gathered at their Sept. 28 performance of “Symphonic Dances,” also at The Foundry, will support the next cycle of music initiatives to be determined by the committee. The group’s next Cy-Hope benefit concert “Christmas in the Air” will take place at The Foundry on Dec. 20 at 8 p.m.;
Ticket sales generated funds at two “Music Beyond Words” concerts organized by Nitish Kulkarni, instrumental pop musician and composer who is a former band student of Cy-Fair High School. These performances featured past and present band students; and
the University of Houston Concert Chorale, directed by Dr. Betsy Weber, presented a concert May 11 at The Foundry, receiving a love offering supporting the Cy-Hope music initiatives.
Dr. Devine said she has already begun raising money for music initiative proposals for 2014-2015.
“I have had such admiration for public school music teachers, and I am so aware at this point in my life of the power of music,” said Dr. Devine, who also serves as the artistic director of the Houston Choral Society. “I see what it can do in the lives of children and adults. [Raising this money] makes me feel that I am here for a reason, and the reason is not for me. I want to be able to leave this place a better place than what it was.”