Haig Shahverdian was our Guest
On Monday, January 9th, our friend Haig Shahverdian spoke to the club about the Gifts of Music  (GOM) Program. Over the years, WH Rotary has been a big supporter, with the 2021 Jazz Brunch raising over $9000.
Gifts of Music was started in 1970 as a way to provide all kids with the opportunity to play and learn how to play, a musical instrument. Not only are there kids in West Hartford with a financial need, but things that may be taken for granted like transportation to lessons and lack of a practice space, may jeep them from pursuing music. GOM has three components:
  1. Provide instruments to kids in need
  2. Offer private lessons to kids who cannot afford them. There are currently 37 kids getting private lessons in an after-school sponsored program
  3. Offer in school lessons for kids with no transportation
This last year, our Rotary funding was used for summer camps for kids:
  • A Suzuki Method summer camp which served 40 kids per week for two weeks
  • A summer Band Camp which also served 40 kids per week for two weeks
The counselors in these camps are often previous 'GOM recipients. And Several GOM students have gone on to music school after their graduation from High School.