August 2017 News

August 2017 News




“Its not good enough to know just math, English, or science. You have to be able to put it all together, and hopefully in a way that no one else has figured out how to do before. To be the next great inventor of something we haven’t dreamed of yet, you need to have creative skills. Music really fosters those creative skills.” – Illinois Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon







Save the Date – Saturday September 23rd For Music For Everyone’s GREAT BIG PIANO PARTY!


On September 23rd, Music For Everyone will host the “Great Big Piano Party”. The event will celebrate eight years of magical musical street scenes in Lancaster through “Keys for the City”. Music For Everyone often characterizes itself as “not being your grandmother’s non-profit”, in reference to the grassroots and unique ways the organization operates. The Great Big Piano Party is the embodiment of this mentality, combining stellar entertainment, food, and beverages with the fun and fonky vibe that MFE is so well known for producing. For this year’s event, we are thrilled to announce that we will be teaming up with the Springhouse Brewery on Hazel Street, to create an unforgettable evening of music, dance, food, and drink.


So mark your calendar for September 23, 2017. If you have been to one an MFE event before, you know what we’re talkin’ ‘bout! If not, we assure you it’ll be in your best interest to be there. Formal invitations will be mailed shortly. If you have questions, contact MFE: And remember “There ain’t no party like a piano party”.


Lancaster, PA “Street Piano Capital of the World”

As you have heard, (literally) Keys for the City pianos are still on the streets in downtown Lancaster. And while you’ve heard those pianos, have you also heard that Lancaster is the “Street Piano Capital of the World”? We can make this claim based on several metrics:

  • Consecutive years for the program: We’ve placed pianos on the streets for eight years running, the most consecutive years of any city that we are aware of.
  • Length of program: Our pianos are out for use by the public 24/7 for over four full months. Again, a longer stretch of time than any other city we are aware of.
  • Piano per capita: Lancaster can boast of having one street piano per every 3955 residents (15 pianos for 59,325 people [2013 Census Data])
  • Piano Keys per capita: We can also boast of having one piano key per 45 residents!

So, get your groove on and come down to tickle a few ivories on any and all of the 15 pianos. Head to the Keys For The City Website or Music for everyone’s Website for more information regarding locations and additional events around the pianos. You can also follow the pianos on the MFE Facebook page where we will be posting pictures and announcing various events and promotions relating to the pianos all summer long.

We’d like to thank the following lead sponsors for making Keys 2017 a reality, and for further solidifying Lancaster’s status as the “Street Piano Capital of the World”:


Presenting Sponsor:

Piano Sponsors:


MFE Community Piano Sponsors:


In-Kind Sponsors:



Music Fridays Continue to Grow!

If you haven’t been downtown for a Music Friday recently, you should make it a point to attend the August 19th event. The crowds and “buzz” around Music Fridays continue to grow with over 20 “MFE street spot” acts spread throughout town. This, in addition to the Mothership Stage act in Binns Park: Big Boy Brass, and the 15 Keys For the City Pianos, makes for a truly happening downtown scene. We will see you on August 19th.

Music Fridays are made possible through the generous support of:


The MFE Singer Songwriter Showcase Continues.

Continuing on August 16th, MFE will host a singer-songwriter night on the third Wednesday of every month at Tellus360. This showcase is a great opportunity for musicians to bring some fresh material in front of objective ears and professional songwriters. While the showcase is a great way for musicians to hone their songwriting skills, it is also a yearlong competition. The four artists who bring in the largest audiences will have the opportunity to perform at the October showcase, which is also a benefit for MFE. So break out those axes, dust off the songwriting pad, tune up, and get on down to Tellus360 for the MFE Singer-Songwriter nights.

The Schedule for the Singer Songwriter Nights:
August 16 — Andy Metz (Opening: Lucille Ciconia)
September 20 — Jessica Smucker (Opening: Stephen Patterson)

October 18 — Sing-off

You don’t have to be a musician to attend the singer-songwriter nights. Come support local music at its roots and have a great time

Original Classics returns on August 24th

Music For Everyone and Tone Tailors are excited to announce a concert series that will benefit Lancaster based non-profit Music For Everyone. The series dubbed “Original Classics” will feature five Lancaster bands performing classic albums from some of the greatest musicians of all time. Each show will showcase two bands with one band playing an original music set, and the other highlighting the featured album. The series will return on Thursday August 24th at Tellus360 with Snapsquatch performing Like a Virgin by Madonna, and Hiding Scarlet performing an original set.

The series has been organized by Tone Tailors, Music For Everyone, and Fine Living Lancaster.

100% of the proceeds raised during the Original Classics series will go to support music programs in

Lancaster County For more information on either the Original Classics series or Music For Everyone please contact


 MFE and the Willie Marble Xperience Tellus360 Concert Series

Music For Everyone has joined forces with The mysteriously swampadelic Willie Marble Xperience and Tellus360 in a concert series to benefit Lancaster non-profit organizations. This month’s concert will benefit The Arch Street Center and will be held on August 17th!

Doors will be at 7:00pm and the show will begin at 8:00pm. The event is for ages 21+ and admission is a suggested donation of $10.



Music For Everyone Approved to receive funds from the EITC!

MFE has a great opportunity for businesses to both contribute funds to MFE and receive a tax credit at the same time. How you ask? Through the Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit, also known as the EITC.

This credit allows a business to pledge funds to a non-profit educational organization and deduct 75-90% of that contribution as a tax credit. For example, if your business were to pledge $10,000 for two years to MFE, your business could write off $9,000 of that donation. That’s a $10,000 donation that only costs $1,000! Think about how many instruments we could provide to schools in Lancaster County with those funds, all while allowing your business to benefit from a tax credit. If you would like to know more please contact Brendan at



Reminder: Ukulele Uprising

Come join the MFE Ukulele Uprising on Tuesday evenings at the Vision Corps building at 244 N. Queen St. All are welcome to this community building initiative.


Monthly Music Download

For this month’s music download we are reaching back into the vaults to MFE CD sampler Vol. I. Lingering Doubts is our featured artist of the month, with their tune, “Unlucky Lucciano”. Download and enjoy.


Until next time Lancaster, Play on!

How Can I Support music Programs in Schools?

How Can I Support Music Programs in Schools?

We’ve enjoyed celebrating Music In Our Schools Month, this March. The month may be coming to an end, but Music in our schools does not become any less important throughout the other 11 months of the year. If you’re like me, you care about music and you want children to be given the opportunity to learn to play musical instruments. However, at times it is difficult to know how you can make a difference, and make sure children in our community are being given musical opportunities. Here is a list of ways you can show your support for local music programs.


“You can attend school board meetings to let board members know that music in the schools is important.”

By doing this, you go straight to the heads of your local schools, to let them know that you care about music programs. If enough people show up at school board meetings and fight for this, they cannot be ignored. You can find information on the Lancaster school system and board meetings, here:

Below are links to all 16 school district governing boards containing contact information for your district.



“You can write editorials or letters to the editor of the local newspaper about the importance of music.”LancasterNews

If you write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, you can let the community at large know that you think music education is important. The more people who realize how music education is often a neglected aspect of young students‘ education, the better. By writing editorials in your local newspaper, you can let the community know, and spur others into action. You can submit a letter to editor of the Lancaster Newspaper this link:


“You can do something to support a school music teacher. Maybe give a gift or at least tell them how much you appreciate all that they do.”


If you know any school music teachers, let them know how much you support them. If you have a child who is in a school music program, give their music teacher a gift, a
note, or even a kind word. In some schools, music educators feel alone in the fight for more music programs and funding. While Math or English teachers can feel secure in the knowledge that their program will always be considered essential, music teachers are often taken for granted. Let them know you support their work, and let them know what you are doing to support music programs in their school.


“You can write a check to an organization that promotes music or supports music education.” 

 Nonprofit organizations such as Music For Everyone work to support music programs by donating instruments and funds directly to the music programs of local schools. You can support Music For Everyone by donating directly to us, or by attending one of our events, such as this weekend’s Festival of Voices, which you can find more information on here:


“You can attend a music performance at a school.”

 Many Lancaster schools will be having spring concerts in April and May. You can find the information for several upcoming Lancaster School District concerts here:
. The McCaskey Gospel Choir Spring Concert will be held at the JP McCaskey Auditorium on April 16 at 6:00 p.m. This Friday, the Pequea Valley High School Choir and the Susquehanna Waldorf School will both be performing at MFE’s Festival of Voices.



Another way you can make your voice heard is by contacting your representatives at the state and federal levels.

You can find a list of all the Lancaster County State Representatives here:

Contact Senator Bob Casey here:

Contact Senator Pat Toomey here:

Contact your Federal Representatives here:




There are many different ways you can advocate for music programs. Pick one or two, or click on one of the links we’ve provided, and go from there. Another simple way you can support music programs in our local schools is by letting your friends and family know what you are doing, and why you are doing it. Word of mouth is a great way to spread the word and raise support. Find a friend to accompany you to a local school’s spring concert or board meeting. Together, we can raise so much more support than any of us can alone.

Getting to know the MFE Scholars




Continuing Music For Everyone’s tradition of providing music to all in Lancaster county each year MFE provides seven, $2,000 scholarships to Millersville University Music Education majors. In exchange for that scholarship the recipients volunteer at a school supported by MFE. Featured below are two MFE scholars, Andrew Swartz and Cecilia. Currently the two scholars are assisting in teaching recorder and other instruments before school at Buchanan Elementary.



Andrew Swartz’s music journey started when his parent’s had him take piano lessons as a young child. His father was one of his biggest influences in music. Being a pianist himself, he wanted Andrew to learn how to play. This parental encouragement caused the young Suzuki method child to begin a strong work ethic that has transferred well into his music education major. Now Andrew is also proficient in trombone, saxophone, and his main focus is percussion.

With his roots of strong family influence, Andrew sees music as a “community thing”. He sees that more people can do music, whether it be playing or enjoying. Andrew also loves the “feels” of music. There is a value in experiencing a piece with a group of people through the process of learning, performing,DSC_0026 and enjoying a piece.

What Andrew loves about music is that in that communal learning process there is a direct reflection of the time a musician puts into their craft and how they perform. It is easy to see the progression overtime in the development as a musician continues to work and improve. But his music education major comes at a price. Music ed majors have a packed schedule. Between rehearsals and practicing there is not really much time for anything else. Music is a seven days a week major. While Andrew does not always agree with teaching methods used, as a student he cannot correct his mentors. Another difficulty is always staying healthy. Like an athlete, musicians have to stay in shape and try to avoid carpal tunnel (particularly as a percussionist), hearing loss, headache, and general fatigue. Andrew also mentions that it is important to make time for yourself to keep a good mental attitude.

With all these things in mind Andrew continues on because he wants to get better and be a good player. He also recognizes that if he teaches high school there is a very real possibility he may come across a student who is better than him and he wants to be able to teach that student the best that he can. Also once a musician starts teaching there is not much time to practice so right now, Andrew has the time to become the best he can.

Andrew became a music education major because he wants to teach music, but he also knows music can take you anywhere. As a personal charge he sees himself as responsible for educating students and believes he owes it to them to give kids the opportunity to see what music can do for an individual as a person. Upon graduation, Andrew wants to teach elementary students because he wants to get kids hooked on music when they are young.


Cecilia Cooper is a cheerful woman with a clear passion for music, especially music education. Cecilia, a Reading Pennsylvania native, comes from a long line of music educators and teachers and she “couldn’t imagine doing anything else”. Similar to her fellow MFE Scholar she began with piano lessons at a young age, but like many young children she never practiced. Now she plays violin and her concentration is voice.

Being an MFE scholar and music education major Cecilia loves to teach her students all that she has learned at Millersville the last two years. As a freshman, she realized DSC_0022how much she did not know about music and loves giving other kids the head start she did not have. She also just loves teaching. While it was scary to be in the classroom for the first time, she loves seeing the impact music education has on her students.

Cecilia also recognizes the difficulties in being a music major. She says that you can never practice enough. With homework you can complete it and be done, but when you do not do as well your mind goes to “I should have practiced more”. This creates the notion of “I should be practicing right now”. Cecilia is learning that it is ok to sometimes not be practicing. She also says that vocal health is especially important for her, and sometimes trying to stay healthy is a struggle. Like all college students she is concerned about her future and her future career.

Through all the struggles Cecilia loves to see her own improvement. She also wants her students to look up to her as a teacher and a musician. All the practicing will pay off in the credibility she will gain as an educator and a musician. Cecilia chose music education because her friends hated music class and she wants to be the music teacher kids deserve. She loves kids, particularly little kids, and wants to be an elementary music teacher. Cecilia’s main desire is to make music a good experience for her students.

2016 Festival of Voices!

Choral music originated in the 2nd century BC in ancient Greece, where the chorus was an important part of the theater. Choral music fizzled out for a while, but around 500 AD, Benedictine and Gregorian monks began to sing in unison, in what was called “plainchant.” In order to vary the plainchant, which could become monotonous, composers began to write more interesting melodies above the plainchants, in effect creating polyphony (several different parts harmonizing with each other). Soon, these harmonies became more complex as composers were given more freedom. When composers wanted to create higher melodies, female voices were added to the mix.

Traditionally, choral music became a form of worship, most often heard in churches. As we’ll see at Festival of Voices, there are many different types of choral music. The performers who will appear at the festival represent diverse groups. One of the groups will be the MFE Community Chorus, which provides a place for people of any age,2016 Postcard Front or skill level to join in a community of voices. There will be representation from local schools and universities as well. Millersville University’s Chromatic Expansion, the Lancaster Bible College Chorus, the Susquehanna Waldorf School, and the Pequea Valley High School Chorale will all be performing. Another exciting group that will be performing is The Cat’s Pajamas, an a cappella group of five men who have been featured on America’s Got Talent and The Sing-Off.

Why choral music? A 2009 study by Chorus Impact showed that choral music has a positive impact on childhood development and on a student’s academics. It also teaches valuable life skills. Choral singing brings people together, giving them a valuable sense of community and an outlet for artistic expression. When I was in high school, I was hesitant to join my school’s choral group, but I finally did, at the request of several friends. I had always enjoyed singing, but being in front of people made me nervous. Joining the chorus helped me to build relationships; it also helped me to grow more confident. By the end of my senior year, I was singing duets and even solos with a confidence I could not have found anywhere else.

The Festival of Voices will provide a supportive venue for diverse groups of singers, and will even end in a special edition of Acapellus360. Anyone can enter as long as they prepare 2 songs and bring at least 3 friends to help them sing. These songs must be performed a cappella, with no instrumental backing. Winners will receive a prize pack of goodies form Tellus360.


Learn more about this year’s 2016 Festival of Voices. This year is our biggest festival to date. We will have several performances at multiple venues, with free choral workshops, a film series, and an entire weekend of celebrating the power of the human voice!

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