Photo from 2018 Concert for Hope
Homeschooled musicians across Berks County who have received scholarships through Reading Musical Foundation will perform in the sixth D’Addesi Concert for Hope at Hope Rescue Mission this Sunday, December 15, 2019 at 5:00 PM. This concert features more than 15 young musicians from eight different homeschooled families performing traditional Christmas songs. Some musicians have been recipients of the D’Addesi Family Homeschool Scholarship Fund of the Reading Musical Foundation, which provides merit and need-sensitive music scholarships to homeschooled musicians in Berks County. Participants will perform a Christmas concert for the men residing at Hope Rescue Mission at 5:00, with a reception leading up to the concert with hot chocolate and desserts beginning at 4:30 PM.
“The annual Concert for Hope helps teach young musicians that music in itself is a gift. Additionally, the men residing at Hope Rescue Mission offer a gift of their own – their genuine applause and appreciation helps the students build their performance proficiency and confidence. The D’Addesi Homeschool Scholarship Fund not just rewards talented and hardworking young people, but teaches them how to be generous,” said Keri Shultz, President of Reading Musical Foundation. “The participation from the many other homeschooled recipients involved in RMF’s Scholarship Program will truly complete the program, giving the residents of Hope Rescue a real Christmas concert with samplings of many Christmas favorites and a sing-along at the end of the program.”
The D’Addesi Family Homeschool Scholarship Fund was established by the Dr. Leonard and Carla D’Addesi in 2013 to provide music scholarship opportunities to homeschool families in Berks County. A blended scholarship program, the fund offers merit and need-sensitive awards for elementary school instrumentalists. The Reading Musical Foundation manages the scholarship, hosting annual auditions each spring and reviewing need-sensitive requests throughout the year. Last year, the program awarded one merit award for piano, one merit award for violin and three need-sensitive awards for multiple instruments. Designed into the scholarship fund is a request that students share their gifts for a charitable purpose like the D’Addesi Concert for Hope. It is the hope and desire of the D’Addesi Family that recipients carry on the spirit of giving, in whatever form students are able.
Over 80 years old, RMF is a public charity that provides financial support for music presenters in Berks County, music scholarships by audition and in response to financial need, and extensive music outreach, including programs in most of Berks County’s public and parochial schools. RMF is governed by a self-perpetuating board of volunteer trustees and is administered by two full-time employees.
In an effort to provide a place where homeless men can come to find relief from life on the streets, Hope Rescue Mission provides food, clothing and shelter to meet the physical needs of each of the men who come to the shelter. Hope Rescue Mission connects their clients with other human service agencies to get the help they need to find release from addiction, mental health problems and chronic joblessness. Another key area of the organization is offering guidance to assure that their commitments of faith are grounded as they turn from the despair in which they find themselves to rely upon the truth of the Gospel.