Stephen Freeman

Renowned Luthier Donates Violin to Instrument Library for Student Use

The Key to Change received a major donation in the form of a new violin (valued at $17,000) from David Van Zandt, a local violin maker, who has graciously gifted the instrument for the organization’s library. Van Zandt stipulated that the violin must be performed by a Black or Brown student, while they are enrolled in Key to Change.

Renton High School junior Analisa Ruiz was selected as the first recipient to use the violin. Analisa is considering becoming a music major after graduating high school. Analisa is a recipient of the Daniel Ching Scholarship. Dr. Morris selected Analisa to use the violin over the next two years. “She’s made enormous progress as a violinist while here at Key to Change,” said Dr. Morris. “I believe the use of this beautiful instrument will be a huge boost to her self-confidence as a student and player.”

Key to Change provides violin and viola lessons for middle and high school students living in South King County. Enrollment for new students will begin on August 17 – September 9, 2020.

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Scholarship Showcase

Left: Daniel Ching teaches violinist Rachel Joshua (grade 12) in a guest string master class. Right: Daniel Ching teaches the middle school violin class in a guest string master class.

Last September, we launched our Empowering Youth for Change (EYFC) Fund, to guarantee our financial stability for years to come, no matter what the economic climate is. Never could we have predicted that a global pandemic or the social upheaval would truly test the capacity of not only our organization, but the entire world. While 2020 has certainly been challenging, we are thankful that music continues to be a source of inspiration and solace for our students, who study violin and viola in our string studio.

Included in the creation of the EYFC Fund is the Daniel Ching Scholarship, a new merit based award for our students, who exemplify artistic talent. We recently awarded over $11,000 to our violin and viola students to continue their study in our string studio.

As a celebration of the EYFC Fund and the Daniel Ching Scholarship, you are cordially invited to attend a virtual showcase of our scholarship recipients where they will perform for Daniel Ching on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at 6:00pm PST. Come see how your investment in EYFC Fund has positively impacted our amazing students.

The Daniel Ching Scholarship is named after my former violin instructor, who I studied with at the University of Texas at Austin. Daniel played a critical role in shaping my career as a performer and inspired me to give back to the next generation. He and I have both overcome tremendous hardships in our careers and this new scholarship honors that journey by creating new musical opportunities for underserved students in South King County.

The upcoming virtual showcase is free and only requires an RSVP. Please respond by Monday, August 3rd, 2020. Once received, you will receive a link to our event.

Thank you for everything you do to support young musicians in South King County. We hope to see you there!

Best wishes,

Dr. Quinton Morris, Executive Director & Founder

PS: Can’t attend the event? Support our youth with a donation towards our Empowering Youth for Change Fund.

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