Community Help in Music Education (CHIME)


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  • New advocacy focus: MusiChOr
  • Program plans and achievements
    Music Around the World Presentations
    Music Connections sister-school projects
    After-school instruction
    Teacher workshops
    Instrument campaign
  • New Board members
  • Recent recognition
We made it!
We have just finished our 10th successful year of carrying out our mission of promoting and providing music education for all DC students. We are proud of our accomplishments and the acknowledgment they have received, thanks to our tireless President, our dedicated Board and other volunteers, our inspirational music instructors, our supportive school and community partners, and our donors.

New Advocacy Focus:
Midwifing MusiChOr, a school-community collaboration to make participation in youth instrumental and choral ensembles accessible to all DC youth.
This would make DC part of what is becoming an international movement inspired by the widely publicized success of Venezuela’s national system of youth orchestras and choruses (“el sistema”) in promoting youth achievement and social welfare. Click here for links to articles about el sistema and the plans it is inspiring in other US cities.
  • First steps already taken:
    In April 2008 we helped organize a meeting sponsored by DCPS for a presentation about el sistema and a discussion of its relevance for DC.
  • Next steps
    A follow-up meeting, with wider community representation, to begin discussing feasible long-term plans and how current programs could help in paving the way.
    Developing our IT system to provide and share information about related developments in DC and other communities.
    Helping to organize a Symposium about el sistema, its influence around the world, and DC plans.

Our program plans for 2008-9 and recent program achievements
  • Music Around the World participatory presentations:

    In the Spring Semester of 2008 we gave 48 presentations to 38 schools through the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative (“the Collaborative”) and 4 presentations directly to Tubman E.S., reaching over 2000 elementary school students. Click here for teacher comments about these.

    Our May 28 presentation on Music and Instruments of South and Southeast Asia for Burrville E.S. students was videotaped for DC Public Access TV, where it will be aired beginning in August. This is the 20th of these programs we have had videotaped for TV, where they are aired in rotation (see the monthly Calendar page of our website,, for a descriptive listing of all our TV and live programs).

    In 2008-9 we are offering over 90 presentations through the Collaborative to all DC public and public charter schools.
  • Music Connections joint music projects between schools with different demographics.

    Click here for a description and history of this project.

    In Spring 2008 we sponsored 3 of these partnership projects. The joint concert for the Stoddert-Tubman choral project on May 30 was videotaped for DC Public Access TV—it begins airing this month (click here for listings). You can also watch it by clicking here. We had DVD copies distributed to participating students. Three joint concerts from partnerships in past years have also been taped for DCTV, where they are still aired periodically.

    Click here for pictures of the concert and t-shirt signing afterwards by our volunteer professional photographer Rebecca Drobis. [link to pictures]

    · After-school on-going instructional programs

    Sponsored by the DC Children and Youth Investment Trust: World Musician Bill Jenkins gave his six-week hands-on series, Percussion Around the World, to two more after-school programs in Spring 2008, adding to the four programs he gave the series to in 2007. Bill provides the instruments from the hundreds he has collected from all over the world.

    DCPS’s new OST (Out of School Time) Program
    DCPS now requires all providers of OST programs on school sites to be vetted and assigned (but not funded) as directed by DCPS. CHIME has been successfully vetted and is notified it will receive assignments by July 31. We would like to use this opportunity to organize after-school choral and instrumental programs in collaboration with school music teachers, as a step towards our MusiChOr goal (see above).

    · Band Aids for DC Schools Instrument Donation Program

    This past school year we donated 60 instruments to seven DC schools. Click here for a list.

    New Board member Jen Corey, a senior vocal major at the American University (and first runner-up for Miss Washington DC this year), is now leading our instrument donation campaign. To donate instruments in good repair, or to be involved in the campaign, please contact her at or click here.

    · Professional development workshops for DC classroom teachers in how to integrate music into their classroom curricula;
    We are offering three different workshops in 2008-9 through the Collaborative, and have also offered others directly to DCPS.

    New Board Members: Additional nominations are welcome.
    CHIME has welcomed five new members to its Board so far in 2008:
    Samuel Visner, VP for Strategy and Business Development, Computer Sciences Corp.
    Eric Gilbertsen, Account Executive, Blattner Brunner
    Rachel Conrad, On-line Publications Specialist, NIH
    Jen Corey, Senior Vocal Major, The American University
    Christine Kharazian, Concert violinist; Music Teacher, Fillmore Arts Center; CHIME educator

    Recent Recognition:
    · Bethesda’s Walt Whitman HS Band is donating the proceeds of its fund-raising concerts this year to CHIME.
    · SMASHED (Society of Mature Adults Seeking to Help, Entertain and Donate) donated the proceeds of its annual fundraiser to CHIME.
    · CHIME was an honoree at the Thomson ES Partners luncheon on May 2 for its donation of a piano and percussion instruments.
    · CHIME will be an awardee at the Anacostia Coordinating Council’s Annual Cabaret on July 26.
    · CHIME was a finalist for the Mayor’s Arts Award for Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education in 2008 for the second year.
    · Jackie Smith, a retiree, asked friends of her late brother Virgil, a trumpeter, to donate to CHIME instead of sending flowers, because his nephew said Virgil changed his life by introducing him to music and she wanted other children to also have that experience.

  • CHIME was selected as a finalist for the Mayor’s Arts Award for Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education, out of a field of 56 nominees, for the second year in a row. The winners were announced in a celebration at Kennedy Center on March 17. While we were not the winner (The Choral Arts Society was), we were honored to be considered in its company as well as that of the Washington National Opera, also a finalist.

  • CHIME is featured on WAMU’s (88.5 FM-public radio) Community Moment Spot about the value of music education that is being aired every day during March (see text on

  • We have begun a campaign for DC to form a school-community partnership for comprehensive group performance-based music education that would be accessible to all DC children and youth. This plan would be inspired by and adapted from the acclaimed Venezuelan national model of community-based child and youth ensembles, now being introduced into Los Angeles by Gustavo Dudamel, the new 26-yr old Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the star product of the system. We will post more information about this as it develops. If you are interested in supporting this project, please contact us.

  • Our extensive Spring Semester programs for DC schools and after-school programs are underway.They are all listed on the Calendar Page of our website, Many of our past programs have been videotaped and are aired multiple times monthly on DC Public Access TV . These and our other public events are also listed on the Calendar page. Our Spring programs include:
    • 50 programs in our Music Around the World series for grades pre-K to 4, to which over 2,000 students are bussed to various venues, offered through the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative and also programs offered directly to schools;
    • Three ongoing partnerships between pairs of schools with different demographics for joint music performances (choral programs between H.D. Cooke-Maret and Stoddert-Tubman, and a guitar program between River Terrace and Two Rivers). All of these will culminate in joint concerts, and parent socials, that will be videotaped for DC Public Access TV.
    • Two series of 6-week Percussion Around the World workshops by World Musician Bill Jenkins at City Gate and Arose after-school programs respectively, sponsored by the DC Child and Youth Investment Trust.
    • Professional development workshops for DC teachers.

  • Our Latest honored student:
    We wish to honor 13-year old Justin Schumacker of Potomac who dedicated his recent Bar Mitzvah celebration to providing instruments to CHIME for DC schools. As a result we were able to donate a complete drum set to Woodrow Wilson High School, and will be giving many small percussion instruments to other schools after Spring Break. Justin also donated an amp to us for the electric guitars we previously donated to HD Cooke E.S. Justin plays guitar himself and gave a demonstration to the HD Cooke guitar class when he made the donation. This is a young man with a big heart! (He is the latest is a series of other socially conscious young people who have similarly decided to donate their Bar or Bat Mitzvah gifts to CHIME). We also wish to acknowledge the help he received with this project from his mother Julie.

  • Grants received so far in 2008:
    Corina Higginson Trust
    D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities
    Harman Family Foundation
    Nancy Peery Marriott Foundation
    And many generous individual donors-for a listing click here


November 2007

  1. Organized four new Music Connections Sister-school Projects to join the two continuing ones. More ...
  2. Organized a new Early Childhood Music and Movement Education Collaborative, in partnership with the Levine School of Music. More ...
  3. Formed a new partnership with the DC  Congress Of Parent and Teacher Organizations to collaborate in our sister-school projects and support our advocacy aims.  (DCPTA) .
  4. So far signed up 18 DC schools for 32 of its Music Around the World presentations and DCPS teachers for of its professional  development workshops through the DC  Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative. More may be added.
    We will also continue to offer these programs directly to schools as funding permits. More ...
  5. Continued distributing donated instruments to schools: 11 band instruments and guitars so far since August to H.D. Cooke and Fillmore Arts Centers (which serve 12 DC schools), plus a mini-recording studio
    to Ballou SHS.  Last year we donated over 50 instruments plus some instructional materials to 8 schools.
  6. Arranged for  25 students from H.D. Cooke to be transported to each of three NSO Sunday Family Concerts this year, for which we have been provided free tickets.
  7. Testified at the DCPS 2009 budget hearing on
    November 15, 2007. More ...

To date we have organized ongoing music projects between six pairs of DC schools, four of them new this fall. These projects bring students and parents together from schools with different demographic profiles in a common ongoing music activity, and serve as a basis for extending partnerships between them to other activities as well.  Each school in the partnership studies a common curriculum, and comes together for joint concerts followed by family social events.  We have had three joint programs from the last two years videotaped for DC Public Access TV, where they receive frequent airing, in rotation.  The program was instituted in 2005-6 with a joint Stoddert-Amidon choral program taught by CHIME volunteer Claire Davis. Our current programs include:

  • Continuation of a violin partnership between Stoddert ES and Amidon E.S.
  • Continuation of a choral partnership between Stoddert ES and Tubman E.S.
  • New choral partnerships between Murch ES and Bowen ES and between the Maret School and H.D. Cooke E.S.
  • Guitar partnership between Two Rivers PCS and River Terrace E.S.
  • Recorder partnership between H.D. Cooke E.S. and Simon E.S.
  • In addition, the 12 DC public elementary schools that participate in arts programs at Fillmore Arts Centers have joint choral and instrumental programs that are partnering with CHIME’s Music Connections program.

We are partnering with the Levine School of Music and other providers of early childhood music education in forming an Early Childhood Music and Movement Collaborative to include those who are planning and responsible for implementing DC Early Childhood Education as well. This is particularly timely now that the DC City Council will be introducing legislation on November 20 to make EC programs available to all DC 3 and 4 year olds.  There are existing music standards for EC curricula, but many providers (including pre-K programs in DCPS)  lack the staff, instruments or other resources to implement them.    By collaborating with each other and with those responsible for providing EC Education, we hope to get maximum leverage from our own abilities and resources in ways that meet the greatest needs. This can most efficiently be done through an emphasis on training teachers and parents, although we will also continue to provide instruction directly to children as well.

We now have 18 schools signed up for 32 participatory presentations (multiple repetitions of 6 different programs) for grades pre-K through 4 from our Music Around the World series. These include two programs of rhythms around the world with movement for pre-K to 2; Music of Great Composers, Latin Percussion, Music and Instruments of South and East Asia, World Rhythms, and Raga-time (sitar) for grade 3 and Indian Dance for grade 4. Our teaching artists, most of whom have been working with CHIME for many years, include Bill Jenkins and Steven Bloom (percussionists), Christine Kharazian (violin), Frank Conlon (piano), Brian Q.Silver (sitar) and Indian dancers. The Collaborative only sponsors music programs for third graders and dance programs for fourth graders.

In addition to these presentations for students, we also offer professional development workshops through the Collaborative, and directly, to DC classroom teachers on how to integrate music into their curricula, for which they can receive Professional Learning Units.

April 2007

CHIME PRESIDENT ON WDCW ON APRIL 22:  Dorothy Marschak will be interviewed on Channel 50’s In the Loop program Sunday April 22 at 10:30 AM talking about music education in DC and CHIME.  Chuck Brown will be on another segment of the same program.

Our newest project, being formed this month, is a joint choral project between Bowen and Murch public elementary schools.  It joins two other choral projects –Stoddert- Tubman and Two Rivers-River Terrace—and a joint violin program between Fillmore-Stoddert and Amidon.  All four programs will culminate the year with joint concerts followed by a family potluck.  We seek funding  to videotape all these concerts for DC Public Access TV, as we did with our first joint project last year between Amidon and Stoddert.  We are very grateful to ANC1A, which just awarded us a grant to cover the expenses of the Stoddert-Tubman program. These projects bring students (and their parents) from schools in different neighborhoods with different demographics together in a common music project that builds relationships across DC’s ethnic, economic and geographic divides.  

NEW AFTER-SCHOOL PROJECTS: World musician Bill Jenkins begins two more 6-week hands-on workshops on Percussion Around the World for CHIME this month, under the auspices of the DC Children and Youth Investment
Trust: at the City Gate and New Community for Children after-school programs.  Each week Bill teaches percussion patterns from a different culture, covering Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and the US, giving each participant a chance to learn how to play rhythms together on many of the hundreds of instruments he has collected and brings with him.  
Last fall he gave similar workshops under the same auspices for Perry School and LINK after-school programs.

Dorothy Marschak presented CHIME’s critique of the proposed 2007 DC Public School budget at its one public hearing on April 5.  Click here to read it.  

Mayor’s Arts Award: CHIME was honored to be selected as a finalist for the award for Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education in a program at the Kennedy Center on March 19, hosted by Kojo Nnamdi.
NAMM:  CHIME President Marschak was one of the honorees at a dinner sponsored by the NAMM (National Association of Music Stores) at the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Museum on March 5 for her role in initiating and contributing to the current exhibition at the museum, Banding Together: School Bands as Instruments of Opportunity, which runs through May 14. Don’t miss it!

  • 1000 Years of American Music:  Claire Davis (the CHIME student volunteer who directed our Stoddert-Amidon program last year) and two of her friends from Wellesley College spent their Spring Break, March 19-22, presenting an a capella program tracing the history of American folk and popular music at 5 DC schools. We had this program videotaped for DC Public Access TV, where it will be aired starting in May (see the Calendar Page for dates and times).
  • In March and April we offered seven programs to which DC students were bussed under the auspices of the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative: three for third graders—one  at the Armenian Embassy with violinist Christine Kharazian and Pianist Frank Conlon on Music of  Great Composers, and two at the Anacostia Museum on Latin Percussion by Bill Jenkins—and four at the Sumner School Museum and Archives on Music Around the World for grades pre-K to 2.
  • We presented Pianist Raymond Jackson in March in two repetitions of a  program of Music and Styles of Black Composers at Tubman E.S. for all the students in the school.

NEW INSTRUMENT DONATIONS: Our most recent donation is from the Potomac River Jazz Club, which has given us the club keyboard it is replacing. We are donating it to Bowen E.S., currently without a piano or keyboards. Earlier this year we received donations of over 50 band instruments, most of which have been distributed to Lincoln Middle School, Coolidge H.S., and Jefferson Middle School.

PROJECT MY TIME AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM AT LINCOLN MIDDLE SCHOOL: We continue with after-school instruction twice a week in band instruments and guitar, taught by four instructors. We are part of a comprehensive after-school program administered by the DC Children and Youth Investment Trust, that began in January 2007 at three DCPS middle schools, and aims to reach most DC middle school students before the end of its five-year grant from the Wallace Foundation.




  • NEW HONOR:CHIME has been selected as a Mayor’s Arts Award Finalist for Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education (out of 59 eligible nominees). Winners will be announced at the (free) Mayor’s Arts Awards ceremony in the Kennedy Center concert hall at 6 PM March 19. We hope you will come.
  • NEW AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM:CHIME is the only organization providing instrumental music instruction selected to participate in the Wallace Foundation’s new initiative to create quality after-school programs in DC middle schools. The DC program, called Project My Time, is being administered by the DC Children and Youth Investment Trust, and is being piloted at Lincoln, Kelly Miller and Hart Middle Schools in the current Spring 2007 school semester. This Spring CHIME is providing instruction in guitar and band instruments at Lincoln Middle School, and hopes to extend its offerings to the other schools in the summer. We have donated over 20 band instruments and guitars so far to Lincoln from the instrument donations we have recently received, to support both its in-school music programs and our after-school program. These are the only instruments the school currently possesses.
    Amidon E.S. and Stoddert E.S.: Building on the success of our Choral Connections program between these two schools during the 2005-6 school year, this year the partnership is being continued with a joint violin program, conducted by the violin teachers of the respective schools: Christine Kharazian at Stoddert (also music teacher at Fillmore Arts Center and concert artist) and Hazel Cheilik at Amidon, who instituted the violin program at Amidon (as a volunteer) after retiring from Thomas Jefferson HS of Science and Technology in Fairfax, where she led the award-winning orchestra and was voted Virginia Teacher of the Year.
    River Terrace E.S. and Two Rivers Public Charter School:
    CHIME Treasurer Janet Gilmore, the music teacher at Two Rivers PCS, is also serving as a CHIME volunteer music teacher at River Terrace E.S. She has started a joint choral program between the two schools: the students will exchange emails and CDs of their singing and prepare for a joint spring concert that will include a parent potluck.
    Tubman E.S. and Ross E.S.
    A new joint choral program between these two schools is being initiated the first week of February. It will be led by CHIME volunteer Emily Sahm, a recent Vassar graduate with extensive experience directing choruses and musical theater. Murch E.S. will either join this program or be a partner in another program to be formed.
  • PUBLIC TESTIMONY: CHIME President Dorothy Marschak testifies before the DC City Council on February 7 on Mayor Fenty’s DC Public School Education Reform Bill. To read her testimony CLICK HERE.
  • NEW GRANTS IN JANUARY 2007 were received from the Corina Higginson Trust, the Harman Family Foundation, and the Washington Post. We also thank our many individual donors for their recent contributions.


FALL 2006
  • CHIME initiated and contributed to the Banding Together: School Bands as Instruments of Opportunity exhibition at the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum that opened on September 10 and runs through May 14. The exhibition  traces the history of DC school music from  1845 to the present,  particularly that of our once-famous school bands from their “glory days” to the  recent decline, and even disappearance, of most of them.  Don’t miss this fascinating story, told through videos, slide shows, oral histories, photographs, and a rich collection of memorabilia.
  • Building on the exhibition, we are organizing a city-wide series of Community Events to be held at local public schools in March 2007 (Music in Schools Month) to showcase our remaining school bands and ensembles and to present testimony from past and present band teachers, band participants, and community members about their experiences with the bands and how they impacted their lives. We will be publicizing the dates, venues and details of these soon.
  • In-school time presentations for students through the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative: (1) Hands-on instrumental workshops by World Musician Bill Jenkins between October and March: five at the Anacostia Museum, combined with tours of the exhibition, and eight at the Sumner School Museum and Archives (2) Music of Great Composers by Violinist Christine Kharazian and Pianist Frank Conlon at the Armenian Embassy next March.
  • Professional developmentworkshops for DCPS teachers: two have been scheduled in November 2006 on Using Instruments in the Classroom by Bill Jenkins through the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative.
  • Four 6-week after-school Percussion Around the World classes by Bill Jenkins have been contracted by the DC Children and Youth Investment Trust: two this fall, at the Perry School and the LINK program at Souza Middle School respectively, and the other two in the Spring at venues still to be selected.
  • New ongoing sister-school projects between pairs of DC elementary schools: Building on the success of our Choral Connections program last year between Stoddert and Amidon public elementary schools, we have been organizing new collaborative programs this year: so far, (1) Stoddert and Amidon are continuing their collaboration, this year with a joint violin program led by their respective violin teachers, Christine Kharazian and Hazel Cheilik; (2) a joint choral program between Two Rivers Public Charter School and River Terrace public E.S. is being led by Two Rivers music teacher and CHIME Board member Janet Gilmore. Additional programs are in the discussion stage.
  • New Music Mentors programin partnership with the LINK project at Souza Middle School and the Perry School, where we are also offering ongoing instrumental instruction.  To expose students to a variety of musical experiences and help develop new audiences for local performing organizations, CHIME provides free tickets and preparatory discussions for a variety of evening and weekend music performances at local performing venues to which participants in these mentors programs are bussed.
  • Instrument donations: From donations received from our Band Aids for DC Schools campaign, so far this fall we have distributed  8 band instruments to Jefferson Junior H.S., 5 band instruments to Coolidge Senior H.S., and a piano to Tubman E.S.
  • CHIME’s Contribution to DC Arts and Education Policy: CHIME President Dorothy Marschak served on Mayor-Elect  Fenty’s Pre-transition Teams for Arts and Education policies. She also belongs to three Committees of the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative, the Education Committee of the League of Women Voters of DC, and the Children’s Advocacy Roundtable. She frequently testifies for support and funding of music education at DCPS Budget hearings.
  • Recent media recognition: CHIME has been mentioned in articles about school bands in the Washington Post (Marc Fisher on September 19), the Washington Informer (September 21), and the Washington Times (November 6). Dorothy Marschak also was on a panel about DC school music on WETA’s Intersections program on September 21.
  • New grants in Fall 2006: We received a general support grant from the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities. We have received general operating support grants from the Nancy Peery Marriott Foundation and The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation. We have also received a matching grant from the Humanities Council of Washington D.C. to organize the Community Events supporting school bands mentioned above.

Community Help in Music Education (CHIME) • 1789 Lanier Pl. • Suite 3 • Washington, DC • 20009
Phone: (202) 232-2731 • Fax: (202) 234-5887 • Email: