Elizabeth “Liz” Moulthrop is playing for change, literally. The Columbia High School Class of 2007 graduate has established a non-profit organiztion called Notes for Change. After a first successful year, the group looks to future success.
Notes for Change holds a concert on June 8 at Grace Church in Montclair that features a number of her fellow CHS alums and benefits the program, which brings music to the children of Pisco, Peru.
Moulthrop, who grew up in South Orange, explains in her blog that she first visited the coastal city in 2008, when Pisco was recovering from a devastating earthquake. “In addition to construction work, the group ran extracurricular programs for children through a variety of already existing after-school and church programs. I have been fortunate enough to return every summer since then with friends and family and have seen that there are still lingering effects from the earthquake,” explains Moulthrop.
While studying music education with a concentration in violin at Temple University, Mouthrop considered how best to use her talents in Pisco. “Through opening discussion with my family, friends, and mentors I have been brainstorming ways in which I can use my skills as a music educator to meet some of the social needs of the city,” she writes. She decided to use her musical knowledge to benefit Pisco.
“I would eventually like to see a sustainable children’s music program operating in Pisco, however, that vision seems rather distant right now and there are many steps to be taken before that can be realized. One of those steps is implementing a low cost, temporary after school music program in July 2011 as a pilot project in order to poll community interest and test the feasibility of such a program,” she explains. The program is now set for mid-July to mid-August of this year, and qualified volunteers will teach children music, using music that is already part of the daily culture of Peru.
The fundraiser concert, which has a free-will offering rather than a set ticket price, will feature CHS alums as well as many other musicians.
“I dream of a successful, self-sustaining music program that provides children with social services and fosters the growth of character, skills, and hope,” explains Moulthrop of her greater vision. “I cannot change the nature of their material poverty but can only hope to use the humble skills that I have in order to provide meaningful experiences for the children and their community, the very people who have given me transformative life experiences.”
If you cannot attend but are still interested in supporting the program, checks can be made payable to Notes for Change, Inc. and mailed to 367 Hartford Rd. South Orange NJ 07079. You can also donate via Paypal through the website.