Blog

Key to Change commits to fighting racism

January 11, 2021

Dear Key to Change Community:

This year, we are making some important and very needed changes to our program to ensure that students in our string studio feel valued and represented, not only within our organization, but also within the musical curriculum and repertoire. While our organization is quite diverse with students, staff, board members and guest artists representing various racial ethnicities and backgrounds, I believe that we can all benefit from more formalized practices that will bring us closer together; especially when dealing with circumstances regarding racism, political or social issues.

Over the next six months, Key to Change will work with HeARTWork Collective, an arts consulting group who specialize in anti-racism and social justice work for students and organizations. We have hired two dynamic teaching artists who will work with our string students, staff and board in various workshops on how to confront and navigate through social bias and systemic oppression, which are infused in our institutions and communities. Our goal is to educate our entire organization on what power each of us has to create a more equitable and inclusive environment for everyone we come in contact with.

I continue to be proud of the hard work that Key to Change is doing to ensure that our students become self-aware leaders who will galvanize positive change in their respective communities. While music is what binds us together, the deeper connection of fostering healthy, sustainable relationships with each other is at the core of who we are. I’m hopeful that through our training, we can restore a common purpose of unity and respect to the people we interact with and the communities in which we live.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Quinton Morris, DMA
Executive Director & Founder
Key to Change

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Key to Change Students Receive Top Honors

Ellie Whitby, an 11th grader at Kentridge High School was among the eleven Key to Change students who received a superior rating at the Jackson State University’s Solo and Ensemble Contest.

Two weeks ago, eleven students from the Key to Change string studio received superior (1st place) ratings at Jackson State University Music Department’s virtual Solo and Ensemble Contest. The contest attracted high school student musicians from all over the country, where JSU music professors judged and coached each participant. All eleven Key to Change students performed scales and individual solo pieces that they have been learning in their respective group and individual music lessons. Key to Change studio represented the largest studio of students who participated in the Solo and Ensemble Contest. 

The Key to Change student participants included:

Alia Uffenorde, violin – 9th grader at Tahoma High School

Analisa Ruiz, violin – 11th grader at Renton High School

Derek Nguyen, violin –  9th grader at Hazen High School

Devin Nguyen, violin – 9th grader at Hazen High School

Ellie Whitby, violin – 11th grader at Kentridge High School

Jasmine Wang, violin – 9th grade homeschooler

Jason Deng, violin – 9th grader at Kent-Meridian High School

Jolene Nguyen, viola – 11th grade at Hazen High School

Madison Cole, violin – 9th grader at Garfield High School

Madison Woolery, violin – 11th at Kenridge High School

Richie Doan, violin – 12th at Renton High School 

The Jackson State University Department of music is perhaps best known for the Sonic Boom of the South. This high-energy show-stopping marching band is legendary throughout the United States and abroad, and has been chosen to perform for nationally televised awards programs and professional football games.  However, the music program is about that, and much more. This unit is home to over 20 music ensembles that master and perform Western classical, jazz, gospel, and world music genres throughout the Southern region.  These include numerous brass ensembles, vocal and instrumental jazz combos, an orchestra, opera workshop, choirs, symphonic bands, and an African music and dance ensemble. The program has produced internationally renowned performers, music educators, and music producers who have matriculated through our National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) accredited programs in Music Education (both graduate and undergraduate), Music Performance, Music Technology, and Jazz Studies. 

Jackson State University is a historically Black college, located in Jackson, Mississippi. 

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Caleb Vaughn-Jones is the inaugural Composer in Residence

Caleb Vaughn-Jones is the inaugural Composer in Residence

Caleb Vaughn-Jones, a classical cellist and composer will serve as the inaugural Composer in Residence at Key to Change. Vaughn-Jones will compose original works for both violin and viola for string students of all musical levels that they will perform in virtual recital in the spring of 2021. Based in Los Angeles, Vaughn-Jones will work virtually with Key to Change string students in a master class setting, assessing their playing ability to compose repertoire specific to their playing abilities and later coaching them on the created repertoire. Select string students will perform Vaughn-Jones’ original works and be interviewed on Dr. Quinton Morris’ new show on Classical King 98.1 FM radio. Morris’ new show is scheduled to premiere in January 2021. Morris is the executive director and founder of Key to Change, which he founded in 2017.

 

“I’m ecstatic about Caleb joining our studio as our inaugural Composer in Residence”, states Morris. “I’m thrilled for our students, who will have an opportunity to work with not just a young, brilliant composer, but someone who looks like them and understands their story. Representation is key and it will be present in Caleb’s residency through his teaching and the music he composes.”

Vaughn-Jones’ career in performance and musical composition has taken him around the world through industries of solo and symphonic performance, film, gaming, and sound production; from the Civilization games series by Firaxis Games, to solo performances in works with Hans Zimmer, Mark Lackey, and Southern Africa’s Free State Symphony Orchestra in Bloemfontein, ZA. His solo works and compositions in the United States include touring performances with the Sphinx Virtuosi at venues around the country, including the New World Center of Miami, FL and Carnegie Hall in New York, NY.

Brenda Barnes, CEO of Classical KING 98.1 FM Radio says, “We are thrilled to welcome Caleb Vaughn-Jones as our first Composer in Residence. We are grateful to Dr. Quinton Morris, our Artist-Scholar in Residence, for selecting Caleb and giving us a chance to work with a brilliant young composer.”

Born 1985, Vaughn-Jones’ artistic and musical interests showed at an early age. He attended performances of the Charleston Symphony and the Spoleto Art Festival, hosted in Charleston, SC. At the age of 8, he began voice lessons; by age 10, began studying the cello. In grades 11 and 12, Vaughn-Jones attended the South Carolina’s Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, spending his summers at Indiana University’s Strong Academy and the Interlochen Arts Camp where he received the prestigious Emerson Scholarship. Following those studies, Vaughn-Jones attended the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University and the Lynn Conservatory of Music.

“I’m really excited to create music that, hopefully, they find exciting and refreshing to learn and perform. I remember being a student and having those few pieces that I didn’t mind practicing because I really connected with the music. I really want them to realize how powerful this art form is and their instruments are tools that can bring about a huge range of emotions,” says Vaughn-Jones. “For me, this is the single driving factor behind my pursuit of artistic excellence; we can have a lasting impact on the listener.”

In 2013, Vaughn-Jones founded Regulus Sound Productions, specializing in production and sourcing of original sounds from Africa for various companies around the world, notably for Firaxis Games, Mandharam (Bollywood), and Step Up. Regulus Sound Productions has grown into a music production company, mixing remote cello recordings for producers in music for film, television, and gaming industries.

In conversation about his time in South Africa, Vaughn-Jones comments: “living in South Africa for 9 years had an impact on me. Some of this influence is obvious, a lot of which I’m probably unaware of at this point. During my time there I had the opportunity to collaborate with people from many different backgrounds. I learned most from traditional African singing. Attending weddings and church services were essentially music masterclasses for me. There are certain ways that Xhosa men sing bass notes that impressed me. That sound can fill a room.”

“South Africans tend to be more concerned about today, not the future…I find that they are a society that values deep relationships, everything has intention. Conversations are deeper, the food is made with love, and belly laughs are common. In terms of my performances and compositions, I have found that I second guess myself less. It is easier for me to determine whether something is actually impactful or not because I am not trying to impress the “academy”, but instead impact the human soul,” Vaughn-Jones says.

The Composer in Residence is in sponsored by Classical King 98.1 FM.

To learn more about Caleb Vaughn-Jones, visit calebvaughnjones.com

For more information, please contact:

Thomas Sweeney, Creative Content Manager

(916) 934-8640

tsweeney@keytochangestudio.org

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2020 – 2021 Guest Artist String Master Classes Series and Guest Academic Lectures at Key to Change

All master classes take place from 6-8pm PST and academic lectures take place on Fridays at 3:00pm remotely. If you are interested in attending a class, please contact us to receive RSVP and receive a link to our classes.

Key to Change is thrilled to offer our students master classes with distinguished guest artists from around the world. This school year our students will have the opportunity to work with the following renowned musicians:

Nicole Cherry, violin

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 6:00pm

Dr. Nicole Cherry is Assistant Professor of Violin at The University of Texas at San Antonio and second violinist of the award-winning Marian Anderson String Quartet. Dr. Cherry has performed extensively in distinguished venues including the Library of Congress, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Smithsonian, and the Banff Centre. A solo tour of the Middle East and Asia included performances before the Queen Noor of Jordan and in underdeveloped townships in Johannesburg during Apartheid.

Dr. Cherry served as artistic director of the Marian Anderson String Quartet Chamber Music Institute held in the underserved areas of Brazos Valley, Texas, as well as in St. Thomas,Virgin Islands. In recognition of this outreach with the quartet, Dr. Cherry garnered two Mayoral Proclamations, the Congress of Racial Equality’s MLK JR. Award for Outstanding Arts Achievement and Chamber Music America’s Guarneri String Quartet Award.

Dr. Cherry’s doctoral research on the nineteenth-century Afro-European violin virtuoso, George Bridgetower, which explores historical socio-cultural theories in string music has garnered her awards that include Texas Tech University’s Paul Whitfield Horn Award and the President’s Excellence in Diversity and Equity Award. As a graduate of the Master’s degree program, The Juilliard School profiled Dr. Cherry in the Journal’s 100th-anniversary issue, “A Quiet Revolution: Juilliard Alumni and the Transformation of Education in America Through the Arts.”

Please RSVP to receive link to attend this master class virtually.


Immanuel Abraham, violin

Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at 6:00pm

American violinist, Dr. Immanuel T. Abraham, is an award-winning performer, composer, masterclass clinician, and pedagogue. He has toured seven countries, and has been a featured artist for PBS, CBS, Blue Lake Public Radio, American String Teachers Association magazine, Southwest Strings, Fiddlershop’s “Music is for Everyone”, The Entertainer Magazine, Shar Music Company, Mind Over Finger, Violin Podcast, Arizona Daily Star Newspaper, Lovin’ Life in Tucson Newspaper, The Arizona Jewish Post Newspaper, the Tucson Film Festival, and much more.

His versatility as a performer spans many genres. He has served as the Concertmaster for the Annual Concert Without Borders at the Douglas/Agua Prieta port of entry, the Michigan Pops Orchestra, the Arizona Symphony Orchestra, the Arizona Contemporary Ensemble (ACE), Monmouth Symphony Orchestra, MuseArt, and Opera in the Ozarks. In recent years, Dr. Abraham also opened for We The Kings, Ben Folds, HelloGoodbye and numerous other popular bands. For these, in addition to their sets, he invariably plays his own original compositions on his 5-string electric violin, custom-designed by Ned Steinberger.

Dr. Abraham is the author of “J.S. Bach’s Chaconne: A Performer-Composer’s Approach to Interpretation”, and composer of the “Abraham 24 Caprices for Solo Violin”. He has also written complete theatrical scores, three milti-movement string quartets including “The Gilgamesh Quartet” and “Codex Janus Quartet” (reviewed by SHAR). He is also the founder and director of The Violin Guild, and artistic ambassador of Southwest Strings, WMutes, and Ovation Press. His instagram, @TheViolinDoctor, engages 20,000 followers. Dr. Abraham is an active advocate of world kinship through the arts, social equality, and environmental proactivity.

Please RSVP to receive link to attend this master class virtually.


Wynton Grant, violinist and lecturer

Friday, November 13th at 3:00pm

Lecture: YOUR Truth Will Set You Free: A Candid Conversation about Life and Entrepreneurship as a Musician

LA-based Grammy-nominated musician and serial entrepreneur Wynton Grant will address some realities facing students and new professional musicians. A recent graduate himself, Wynton will discuss practical and strategic actions students can take to leverage their own particular skill sets and connections into a sustainable career, and provide suggestions on ways to best prepare for an uncertain future in unprecedented times.

Grammy-nominated violinist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Wynton is one of Los Angeles’ most sought-after performers. Wynton can be heard on record with today’s hottest artists from Shawn Mendes and Miley Cyrus to Alicia Keys and has toured internationally with Grammy-winning artist Rostam. He has recorded for composers like Hans Zimmer and Alan Menken, and can be heard on the soundtrack to Disney’s Mulan (2020), The Lion King (2019), and more.

The sole recipient of The Dean’s Prize upon his graduation from the Yale School of Music, Wynton is also an alumnus of the University of Southern California and Lynn Conservatory.

Wynton is equally at home in classical and pop music settings, and constantly discovering new techniques for violin performance, including beatboxing, singing, and rapping while playing.

In addition to music, Wynton is a passionate and successful serial entrepreneur. The founder/CEO of Visions Unlimited Media, Staash International, and Sola, Wynton is also an active real estate investor with a portfolio of properties in Southern California and Wyoming.

Please RSVP to receive link to attend this master class virtually.


Timothy, Peters, violin

Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 6:00pm

Timothy Peters is in his 8th season with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, where he is currently serving as Principal 2nd Violin. He has performed as a titled guest with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including Principal 2nd Violin of the Dresden Philharmonic (Germany), Sub-Principal 2nd Violin of the BBC Philharmonic (Manchester, UK), Principal 2nd Violin of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, and Guest Concertmaster of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. Additionally, he has performed as a guest player with the Houston Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet, and Charleston Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared as Concertmaster with many of the USA’s leading festival orchestras, including the Spoleto USA Festival and the National Orchestral Institute.

Timothy’s many solo performances include recital appearances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts in Houston, Texas, and an appearance as a soloist on Garrison Keillor’s popular radio show, “A Prairie Home Companion”. His recent concerto appearances include performances with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, and Maggini Ensemble (Houston, Texas).

Please RSVP to receive a link to attend this master class virtually.


Michael Klotz, viola and violin

Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 6:00pm

Born in 1978 in Rochester, NY, Michael Klotz has established an international reputation as a performer and pedagogue of the viola. Klotz made his solo debut with the Rochester Philharmonic at the age of 17 and has since then appeared as soloist with orchestra, recitalist, chamber musician, and orchestra principal worldwide. He joined the Amernet String Quartet in 2002 and has toured and recorded commercially with the ensemble throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Romania, Colombia, Belgium, and Spain. Klotz has performed at some of New York’s most important venues, such as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Weill Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, MoMA, Bargemusic, and the Kosciuzsko Foundation.

Michael is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where he was awarded the Performer’s Certificate. In 2002 he became one of the few individuals to be awarded a double Master’s Degree in violin and viola from the Juilliard School.

He is a dedicated teacher and serves as Senior Instructor and Artist-in-Residence at Florida International University in Miami, where he teaches viola and chamber music. Additionally, he teaches a select number of highly gifted pre-college students. Michael Klotz resides in Hallandale Beach, FL with his wife Kelly and sons Jacob and Natan, as well as two dogs and a cat.

Please RSVP to receive a link to attend this master class virtually.


Kristin Lee, violin

Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 6:00pm

A recipient of the 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, as well as a top prizewinner of the 2012 Walter W. Naumburg Competition and the Astral Artists’ 2010 National Auditions, Kristin Lee is a violinist of remarkable versatility and impeccable technique who enjoys a vibrant career as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and educator. “Her Technique is flawless, and she has a sense of melodic shaping that reflects an artistic maturity,” writes the St. Louis Post‑Dispatch, and The Strad Reports, “She seems entirely comfortable with stylistic diversity, which is one criterion that separates the run-of-the-mill instrumentalists from true artists.”Kristin Lee has appeared as soloist with leading orchestras including The Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Ural Philharmonic of Russia, Korean Broadcasting Symphony, Guiyang Symphony Orchestra of China, Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional of Dominican Republic, and many others. She has performed on the world’s finest concert stages, including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center presented by the Musicians Emergency Fund,the Kennedy Center,Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Ravinia Festival, the Louvre Museum in Paris, Washington, D.C.’s Phillips Collection, and Korea’s Kumho Art Gallery. An accomplished chamber musician, Kristin Lee is a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, performing at Lincoln Center in New York.

Please RSVP to receive a link to attend this master class virtually.

Photo by: Arthur Moeller


 


Chelsey Green, violin

Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 6:00pm

Described as “passionate, electrifying, and innovative,” international, Billboard-charting recording artist Chelsey Green breaks down stereotypes of traditional violin and viola playing. A native of Houston, Texas, Dr. Chelsey Green is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, entrepreneur and educator that combines classical and contemporary to make music uniquely her own.

Chelsey and her ensemble, Chelsey Green and The Green Project, have released four studio projects, debuted on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz and iTunes Jazz charts and performed live shows and educational workshops around the world; including shows throughout the United States as well as through the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Japan and Haiti. Dr. Green maintains an active performance and recording schedule while also teaching full-time as an Associate Professor at the prestigious Berklee College of Music.

A few performance highlights include the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards with Lizzo, Songs In The Key Of Life Tour (D.C.) twice with Stevie Wonder, Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival with jazz violinist Regina Carter, the Essence Music Festival with MC Lyte, the Theater at Madison Square Garden with J.Cole, NPR Tiny Desk with Wu-Tang Clan, the Boston Pops with Rhiannon Giddens, a feature ensemble debut with The National Symphony Orchestra and a nationally syndicated Walmart commercial produced by BET Networks appearing alongside Kirk Franklin and Estelle.

Dedicated to educating youth of all backgrounds, Chelsey Green and The Green Project also spend time devoted to the community by providing a wide range of educational music workshops to city and county schools, after school programs and educational groups to illustrate the magical power music can have in their lives.

Hear and see more at www.chelseygreen.com.

Please RSVP to receive a link to attend this master class virtually.

Photo by: Derrel Todd Photography

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Innovative BIPOC Composer Residency partnership with Classical King FM announcement


Dr. Quinton Morris with Davie Ann Ross and Ruby Ruo, top prizewinners of the 2019 Solo String Festival after their live performance on King FM 98.1.

Dr. Quinton Morris is selected as the first Artist-Scholar in Residence and Key to Change joins as partner with innovative BIPOC Composer Residency, both with Classical King FM 98.1.

Dr. Quinton Morris will serve as the first Artist-Scholar in Residence for Classical KING FM 98.1 for a two-year term beginning September 15. Dr. Morris enjoys a multifaceted career as a concert violinist, chamber musician, educator, entrepreneur, and filmmaker. In this new role for KING FM, he will create 10-12 radio programs and video podcasts featuring the music of BIPOC composers and performers that will be distributed nationally to classical radio stations across the country.

He will also start a composer residency program, selecting two living BIPOC composers to write or arrange new pieces for Dr. Morris’s Key to Change Studio. Performances of these new pieces featuring Key to Change violin and viola students will air on KING FM. KING FM is also thrilled to continue its previous partnership with Key to Change by featuring winners of its annual Solo String Festival on its weekly live program Northwest Focus.

“Dr. Morris and Key to Change have been valued partners of Classical KING for several years, and it was Quinton who suggested that KING FM consider a composer in residence program, explained Dr. Brenda Barnes, CEO of Classical KING FM. “I thought about it, realized Quinton was actually the perfect person to pioneer this new role for KING FM, and asked if he would consider serving as our first Artist-Scholar in Residence. I was absolutely thrilled when he said yes! We look forward to supporting Quinton in creating radio programs and podcasts that will be offered to stations and listeners across the country. It is such an honor to have this opportunity to work more closely with Dr. Morris and to raise the profile of important BIPOC composers and performers.”

“I have literally grown up listening to KING FM. As a kid, I remember listening to the radio as I would get ready for school and it’s been wonderful to continue my partnership with them in this new capacity. I’m very happy to have an active role where I’ll perform and program music by Black and composers of color, who have been largely ignored and marginalized within the classical music community. Additionally, I’m really excited about the launch of our composer residency program, where our Key to Change students will have an active role in this partnership. It’s a great way to show our youth that not only do they matter, but they too can be engaged participants in creating impactful change that can transform the lives of others”.

Classical KING FM will appoint a team of staff members to support Dr. Morris and his work with the station. They will begin planning and producing programs this fall.

ABOUT:

About Dr. Quinton Morris
Dr. Quinton Morris is an Associate Professor at Seattle University and founder of the music education organization Key to Change. He enjoys a multifaceted career as a concert violinist, educator, filmmaker and entrepreneur. He performs solo concerti/recitals and chamber music and presents lectures worldwide.

Dr. Morris’ career spans across six continents, presenting in dozens of countries. His BREAKTHROUGH: The Quinton Morris World Tour included an innovative lecture recital and self-produced short film based on the life and music of Chevalier de Saint-Georges. BREAKTHROUGH premiered at prestigious venues including, the Seattle Art Museum, the Louvre Museum (Paris), New York Film Week among dozens of other concert halls and film theaters. Governor Jay Inslee awarded Dr. Morris the Washington State Governor’s Arts Award for his success with BREAKTHROUGH and the film received the first prize ‘Diamond Award” at the European Independent Film Award Festival in Paris and the bronze award at the Global Music Awards.

Dr. Morris has received numerous awards including the Puget Sound Business Journals “40 Under 40 Award,” Seattle Mayor’s Arts Awards, the Seattle University Provost Award for Outstanding Scholarship and Creative Work, and named a “Mover and Shaper” by Musical America. He is currently the co-chair of the Seattle Arts Commission.

Dr. Morris is the first music professor in over thirty years (and the second living African-American violinist in United States history) to receive tenure and promotion at Seattle University. He is the founder and director of Key to Change, a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching middle and high school underserved violin and viola students in South King County. For more information, visit his website at www.keytochangestudio.org.

About Classical KING FM
Classical KING FM 98.1 is the primary institution developing new audiences for classical music and the arts in Seattle, Bellevue, and the Puget Sound Region. Listener-supported KING FM is located at Seattle Center with a mission to make classical music accessible for everyone in the community and to advocate for the arts in our region.

In addition to creating programming that offers everyone in the region an opportunity to make classical music and the arts a part of daily life, Classical KING FM partners with arts and culture organizations of all size and scope in the region. We offer broadcast performances of local concerts as well as an opportunity for local musicians to perform on our signature Friday evening program Northwest Focus LIVE. The Northwest Focus Concert Calendar offers listeners the opportunity to learn more about concerts and events to encourage them to deepen their involvement with classical music and the arts by attending and supporting the excellent performing organizations the region boasts.

Teachers and parents use Classical KING FM to introduce children to classical music, and the station has additional programs to supplement this important work. Through our popular Instrument Petting Zoos, the annual Young Artist Awards competition, and other partnerships, KING FM provides support for arts education in the region.

We are proud of the rich history of the station, which was founded by broadcasting pioneer Dorothy Stimson Bullitt in 1948. After Dorothy’s death, her daughters Patsy Bullitt Collins and Harriett Bullitt donated the station to a nonprofit to ensure the station continued to serve the region. Their concept was that the community would support the station going forward. KING FM operated as a commercial classical station until 2011 when it became a classical public radio station.

More than 15,000 members are supporters of Classical KING FM, helping to pave the way for a bright future for the station, and bringing the richness of classical music to diverse audiences in the rapidly growing Puget Sound Region.

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Renowned Luthier Donates Violin to Instrument Library for Student Use

The Key to Change received a major donation in the form of a new violin (valued at $17,000) from David Van Zandt, a local violin maker, who has graciously gifted the instrument for the organization’s library. Van Zandt stipulated that the violin must be performed by a Black or Brown student, while they are enrolled in Key to Change.

Renton High School junior Analisa Ruiz was selected as the first recipient to use the violin. Analisa is considering becoming a music major after graduating high school. Analisa is a recipient of the Daniel Ching Scholarship. Dr. Morris selected Analisa to use the violin over the next two years. “She’s made enormous progress as a violinist while here at Key to Change,” said Dr. Morris. “I believe the use of this beautiful instrument will be a huge boost to her self-confidence as a student and player.”

Key to Change provides violin and viola lessons for middle and high school students living in South King County. Enrollment for new students will begin on August 17 – September 9, 2020.

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Scholarship Showcase

Left: Daniel Ching teaches violinist Rachel Joshua (grade 12) in a guest string master class. Right: Daniel Ching teaches the middle school violin class in a guest string master class.

Last September, we launched our Empowering Youth for Change (EYFC) Fund, to guarantee our financial stability for years to come, no matter what the economic climate is. Never could we have predicted that a global pandemic or the social upheaval would truly test the capacity of not only our organization, but the entire world. While 2020 has certainly been challenging, we are thankful that music continues to be a source of inspiration and solace for our students, who study violin and viola in our string studio.

Included in the creation of the EYFC Fund is the Daniel Ching Scholarship, a new merit based award for our students, who exemplify artistic talent. We recently awarded over $11,000 to our violin and viola students to continue their study in our string studio.

As a celebration of the EYFC Fund and the Daniel Ching Scholarship, you are cordially invited to attend a virtual showcase of our scholarship recipients where they will perform for Daniel Ching on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at 6:00pm PST. Come see how your investment in EYFC Fund has positively impacted our amazing students.

The Daniel Ching Scholarship is named after my former violin instructor, who I studied with at the University of Texas at Austin. Daniel played a critical role in shaping my career as a performer and inspired me to give back to the next generation. He and I have both overcome tremendous hardships in our careers and this new scholarship honors that journey by creating new musical opportunities for underserved students in South King County.

The upcoming virtual showcase is free and only requires an RSVP. Please respond by Monday, August 3rd, 2020. Once received, you will receive a link to our event.

Thank you for everything you do to support young musicians in South King County. We hope to see you there!

Best wishes,

Dr. Quinton Morris, Executive Director & Founder

PS: Can’t attend the event? Support our youth with a donation towards our Empowering Youth for Change Fund.

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Key to Change Guest Lecturers: Spring-Summer Trimester

Being a strong and effective musician requires more than just music lessons. We’re committed to providing opportunities for our students to continue learning, growing, and preparing for their future, even if their normal public school classes are on hiatus. We are bringing in guest lecturers from a variety of academic fields over the next few months to conduct video lectures with our students and help broaden the scope of their music training.

Join these professors and experts who will lecture on an array of academic topics via Zoom. Please RSVP at info@keytochangestudio.org to receive access to these lectures. 

Friday, May 8, 3pm: Dr. PJ Alaimo
Seattle University Professor
Class Demonstration:  “Kitchen Chemistry: Acids and Bases”

Dr. Alaimo earned his B.S. in Chemistry and Philosophy from University of Michigan in 1994 and his PhD in organic chemistry from UC Berkeley in 1999.  After conducting research in chemical genetics and teaching biochemistry at UC San Francisco Medical Center, he started working at Seattle University in 2004, where he is currently a professor.


Friday, May 15, 3pm: Jonte Lee
Educator
Class Demonstration: “Crystals All Around Us”

Jonte Lee is a high school chemistry STEM teacher at Calving Coolidge High School in Washington DC Public Schools District. Before becoming a high school teacher, Jonte worked in the corporate sector as a marketing specialist. Through teaching, he found his life’s passion. He enjoys making meaningful connections with students and pushing them academically forward.


Wednesday, May 20, 4:30pm: Victor Zamora
Program Director for the College Success Foundation
College Preparatory Workshop

Victor Zamora currently works at the College Success Foundation as a Program Manager for Improvement and Quality. Previously, he worked as at KIPP Colorado Schools as the Director of KIPP Through College overseeing the College Counseling offices at two high schools. During his time in Colorado, he implemented strategies that increased the number of students attending their first-choice schools all around the country. He started his career working as an admissions counselor at Seattle University and then as Assistant Director of Admissions for Multicultural Recruitment at Oregon State University. He is passionate about helping families through the complicated admissions process as well as supporting students for a successful journey through college.


Friday, May 22, 3pm: Iann Seel
CPA and Key to Change Board Member
Class Discussion: “Balancing Your LIfe and Your Finances”

Iann is an auditor at CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP, a national financial services firm. She work in the public sector, specifically auditing employee benefit plans and non-profit organizations. Iann graduated Magna Cum Laude from Central Washington University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting as well as minors in music and interdisciplinary studies. She played the violin in the Central Washington Symphony as well as the Tacoma Youth Symphony, and still plays the piano as a way to relax.


Friday, June 5, 3pm: Dr. Andrea Henderson-Platt
Assistant Professor at University of South Carolina 

Dr. Henderson’s research examines the influence of religion on health and family outcomes, with a strong emphasis on the implications of religious institutions, practices and values among Black Americans. An important aspect of her research examines how religious involvement protects against the different forms of stress, particularly racialized stress. To address this line of inquiry her work uses both quantitative and qualitative approaches, and takes an interdisciplinary focus incorporating perspectives from critical theory, social psychology, history, and public health. Her work has been published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Journal of Religion and Health, and Journal of Family Issues. Dr. Henderson received her PhD in Sociology at the University of Texas Austin in 2011, and she joined the Department of Sociology at UofSC in 2013.


Friday, June 12, 2020 3pm: Dr. Lisa “Osunleti” Beckley-Roberts
Ethnomusicologist

Dr. Lisa “Osunleti” Beckley-Roberts, Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology and Interim Chair of music at Jackson State University, earned her doctorate in Ethnomusicology and Masters Degrees in Ethnomusicology and Harp Performance at Florida State University, after having received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Harp Performance from Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Her research interests include Africana spiritual traditions and the role of music within them, the creation of sacred space through music, music and memory, and Africana music and dance traditions.  She is also an accomplished performer who has been principal harpist with the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra and the Central Florida Symphony Orchestra while also performing with the neo-soul and hip-hop performers of Tallahassee Nights Live.


Wednesday, June 17, 2020 3pm: Daniel Hammes
Educational Administrator
Lecture: STEM and Music “The Perfect Duo for the Wonder Brain”

Dan has 20+ years in college administration as College faculty, Academic Advisor, and Campus Director. He currently serves as the campus director for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University overseeing the Renton and Joint-Base Lewis McChord campuses as well as teaches part-time as principal faculty for City University of Seattle in the School of Management since 1999. He has worked in public schools in Michigan, private schools in Washington, as well as in leadership roles both for-profit and non-profit companies in the Puget Sound. He holds a Bachelor’s in Theology from Faith Baptist Bible College, four master degrees from City University of Seattle, and a Master’s of Science in Project Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.


Friday, June 19, 2020 3pm: Kymani Thomas
Consultant and Key to Change Board Member
Music Wellness Workshop

Cellist Keith Thomas is a committed advocate for access and inclusion in classical music. With over a decade of experience in community engagement, as a member of the Da Camera Young Artists Program, principal cellist of the Longmont Symphony in Colorado, and most recently through the Teaching Artist program at the Seattle Symphony, he is especially focused on working with underserved populations and students of color. Keith also collaborates with nonprofits and Fortune 500 companies to help them develop and distribute compelling messaging.


Friday, June 26, 2020 3pm: Naomi Ishisaka
Seattle Times Journalist and Photographer

Naomi Ishisaka is the Social Justice Columnist for The Seattle Times. She is a journalist and photographer who focuses on racial equity and social justice. Through writing and photography, Ishisaka documents social justice movements, issues and events. Her writing and photography have appeared in The Seattle Times, Seattle Magazine, Seattle Globalist, South Seattle Emerald, Heart and Science Magazine and many other publications. Ishisaka served for eight years as the Editor in Chief of the award-winning ColorsNW Magazine, a monthly magazine focusing on communities of color in the Northwest.


Friday, July 10, 2020 3pm: Keisha McKinsley
Nurse

Keisha D. McKinsey, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, a Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner with over 16 years experience in the medical field, delivers individualized care to each patient.  Mrs. McKinsey started McKinsey Health & Wellness so everyone could have access to quality healthcare, whether patients have insurance or not.  Keisha received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Grambling State University in Grambling, LA and her Master of Science in Nursing from Maryville University in St. Louis, MO. She’s currently a doctoral student at Abilene Christian University. She is a Renton High School graduate. 


Friday, July 17, 2020 3pm: Dr. Aronica V. Williams, MD
Doctor Specializing in Family Medicine

Dr. Williams graduated from the Medical College of Wisconsin,Medical College of Wisconsin in 2005. Dr. Williams works in Milwaukee, WI and specializes in Family Medicine. Dr. Williams is affiliated with Aurora Sinai Medical Center, Orthopedic Hospital Of Wisconsin and Aurora Sinai Medical Center. She also holds a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance and Music Theory from Loyola University New Orleans.


Friday, July 24, 2020 3pm: Michael Bean and Roni Ayalla
Business Development and Creative Strategists

Michael and Roni are the founders of Sandpaper Productions, a communications and design agency based in Austin, Texas. The firm helps companies and entrepreneurs of all sizes tell their stories more effectively with compelling visuals. Prior to founding Sandpaper Productions, Michael and Roni worked for media companies in New York. Both received their Masters of Communication in Digital Media from the University of Washington in Seattle, where each worked with youth at nonprofits on digital storytelling.


Friday, July 31, 2020 3pm: Dr. Stephen Luckey
Assistant Professor of Biology at Seattle University
Understanding the Covid-19 Pandemic: From Basic Science to Public Health

Dr. Luckey’s research aims are twofold: 1) to understand the role of cell cycle regulators in both physiologic and pathologic hypertrophy; and 2) to identify regulators that promote beneficial cardiac growth and improved cardiac function in the context of heart disease. Ultimately, findings from this research may contribute to the development of therapies to mitigate the effects of heart failure. Professor Luckey received his B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Dayton, his Ph.D. in Molecular Toxicology from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, and conducted his postdoctoral research in the Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology Department at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has also taught classes at the University of Colorado, Boulder and Regis University, Denver.

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Key to Change Awards $11,000 in Daniel Ching Scholarships

“I was extremely honored and flattered when Key to Change wanted to start a scholarship fund in my honor. I’m overjoyed as these awards will give these young musicians the same opportunity I was given at their age, and all through the generosity of the entire Key To Change community which has given already so much to the fund. I feel tremendous pride that Key to Change exists because of the vision and hard work of my former student, Dr. Quinton Morris. I could not be more proud of what he has given to the community in South King County already, and look forward eagerly to the next stages of growth for the organization.” – Daniel Ching, violinist of the Miró Quartet

We are thrilled to announce the first round of recipients for the Daniel Ching Scholarship for Musical Excellence. Launched in 2019, the Daniel Ching Scholarship is named after the former violin instructor of Key to Change Founder and Executive Director Dr. Quinton Morris. Daniel played a critical role shaping Quinton’s career as a performer and inspiring him to give back to the next generation. Both artists overcame tremendous hardships on their way to becoming world-class violinists, and the new Daniel Ching Scholarship honors that journey by creating new musical opportunities for underserved students in South King County.

The inaugural recipients of the Daniel Ching Scholarship are as follows:

  • Richie Doan, violin, 11th grade
  • Nathan Wang, violin, 11th grade
  • Analisa Ruiz, violin, 10th grade
  • Jolene Nguyen, viola, 10th grade
  • Madison Woolery, violin, 10th grade
  • Ellie Whitby, violin, 10th grade
  • Alia Uffenorde, violin, 8th grade
  • Jasmine Wang, violin, 8th grade
  • Madison Cole, violin, 8th grade
  • Amariah Strand, violin, 8th grade
  • Hayley Camp, violin, Key to Change alumna, college sophomore and double major in violin at the Peabody Conservatory of Music and mathematics at Johns Hopkins University

 

Recipients of the Daniel Ching Scholarship each received personalized videos from Dr. Quinton Morris and Daniel Ching.

If you would like to donate to the Daniel Ching Scholarship Fund or learn more about this exciting endeavor, please click here.

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COVID-19 Updates at Key to Change

Key to Change is committed to maintaining a safe and supportive learning environment for our students. Due to community health concerns relating to COVID-19, some Key to Change programs may be modified in the coming weeks. Please check back on this page for the most recent updates.

Our Solo String Festival, Spring Finale Recital, and Spring Salon Concert, and Summer Camp are cancelled, in accordance with recommendations from the Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Weekly violin lessons at Key to Change are being conducted remotely via Zoom or Google Hangouts until further notice. Students’ weekly lesson times will remain the same, and they will receive a link via email to join in these online classes.

Thank you for your flexibility and understanding. Key to Change is doing everything we can to ensure the health and safety of students and community members at our events.

This is an evolving situation, and updates on COVID-19 are available from the Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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