“We started Classics for Kids to change the lives of at-risk youth around the country by opening the doors of classical music to them,” said Mike Reynolds, Classics for Kids founder and executive director. “Today, I’m thrilled to be able to bring this opportunity to kids in Southern California.”
The San Diego event was co-chaired by Mark Hannah, Rita Lancaster-Hannah, Bill Hohen, and Susan Hoehn, and held at the Hoehn’s home in Rancho Santa Fe with and attendance of 200 guests including Ann Evans, Kim and Marilyn Fletcher, Mike and Rocio Flynn, Papa Doug Manchester, Peter and Peggy Preuss, and Karin Winner. The guests enjoyed musical performances by former Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice and the Muir String Quartet. The San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory also performed for guests.
“Classics for Kids fills a critical void for schools — the ability to provide children with high quality instruments to aid in their instruction and enjoyment of music,” Dr. Rice said. “The study of music is not, to my mind, an ‘extracurricular activity.’ It’s at the core of educating our children broadly, giving them the confidence to take on difficult challenges and the opportunity to gain a talent that can be with them for a lifetime. Classics for Kids is a great partner for the schools in this important work.”
“My personal experience with Classics for Kids began a year ago when my husband and I were invited to the Yellowstone Club in Montana for a very special evening with Condoleezza Rice in benefit of Classics for Kids Foundation. The experience of that evening was full of magical moments that I will never forget. I wanted to share this beautiful experience with my friends and community. This organization helps children know, learn and love the language of music, and for that our world will be a little better with each young student we touch,” said event co-chairwoman Rita Lancaster-Hannah.
Classics for Kids Foundation was co-founded in 1998 by Rice and the Muir Quartet (in residence at Boston University) cellist Michael Reynolds in response to the decline of music education programs in public schools. Since then, the organization has supported more than 100 matching grants in communities across the nation, with instrument values of more than $1 million.