Fourth graders Eli Jordan and Haley McCreery seem to know a thing or two about what it takes to support good music programs in schools.
The Ocean View and Cornell students, who each play multiple instruments, took their talents to a popular street corner over the holidays, opened up a violin case and serenaded shoppers with fine violin playing.
They raised $100 and donated the money to the Albany Music Fund.
“We wanted to give something to music,” said Eli, who attends Ocean View where he plays the clarinet in the fourth grade band.
Haley attends Cornell and also plays clarinet with her school band. They each also play violin which is how they met, taking lessons.
The two friends said they were grateful they got to learn a second instrument at their schools and could sing in a choir if they want. So they decided to give back.
With vacation time on their hands, they developed a play list, practiced a few songs and then on the Saturday between Christmas and New Year’s they went with their moms to the popular 4th Street, Berkeley, shopping district and found a spot to play. With music stands, an open violin case and a bright red sign reading “All donations go to the Albany Music Fund” in place, they were ready to go. They set their violins under their chins and played and played.
“Playing the first few songs was a little scary,” Haley said. But before too long they settled into the routine of focusing on their music.
Later in January, Haley and Eli came to an Albany Music Fund board meeting and donated the $100 they had made in their street gig. Board members were in awe of their generosity and dedication to music. Smiles broke out all around the table and Eli and Haley got a hearty applause.