Harmonikids Newsletter


Harmonikids End of Year Newsletter

Greetings from Harmonikids!

Every year at this time I take time to reflect upon and share Harmonikids annual accomplishments.  Even in light of considerable achievements in past years, 2012 was a particularly productive year. In spite of the economic challenges that continue to face nonprofit organizations in the continued recession, my sessions and workshops effectively aided and delighted children with special challenges all over the map. Here's some highlights from just a few of the participating facilities in their own words and photos (for more please visit www.harmonikids.org):
 "It changed my perspective on the way I see things. I can see how things can be healed with music. I also like how you can fix your music mistakes and start over. I like how he taught us this, and how we can fix our own (life) mistakes, then forget about them and move on."

~Alfredo, a Salt Lake Valley Detention Center Harmonikids session participant, Salt Lake City, UT


"Even though you came to share music with my students, you ended up sharing much more. You demonstrated that there are people who care about them outside of their family and the classroom."
Kathleen Riser, Teacher (for children with learning challenges) and Band Director, Kingsbury Middle School, Memphis TN 


"Thank you for donating harmonicas and providing a Harmonikids session to our facility… We had one kid just brighten up after Gary’s sessions and musical gifts. This was very special for me to witness, as this kid comes from a broken home where drugs was his only outlet. Now to see him so excited and to play a harmonica for the first time warmed my heart in a way never before felt… All the kids were happy, focused, and entirely interested in the endless possibilities that a harmonica could bring them. Music has opened their hearts to a brighter more pleasant side of life."

Cliff Ray, House Parent, Sunflower Landing (a drug and alcohol treatment center for adolescents), Dublin, MS

See HOHNER's feature article on this session


Big Brothers and Big Sisters Session near Philadelphia, PA
 "It was an amazing activity and so meaningful to see the reactions on the faces when they realized they were really playing a musical instrument! Having a musical instrument that they can keep with them, practice, experiment by “creating” music and turn to as a means of recreation, stress relief or a new possible career passion is an opportunity that most in our program do not have, especially since most music programs have been removed from the schools with which we partner. This became even more apparent when the school principal told us that positive offerings like this are few are far between for children attending schools who have very limited resources."

Adrienne Hessert, Manager, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeastern PA

See HOHNER's feature article on this session.


A warm "Harmonikids Hug" at the RMH NY

 "The Harmonikids event and performance was a great success - the families loved it!  We are truly impressed with the good work you do."

Fordham Murdy, Director, Ronald McDonald House New York

The Riverfront Blues Festival's annual Harmonikids workshop tent, Wilmington, DE



Harmonikids is extremely proud to have had it's own HOHNER harmonica model released in the fall of 2012. A portion of proceeds from sales will be donated to fund Harmonikids programs.

HOHNER is the world's leading harmonica manufacturer and historically the choice of the very best musicians. The launch of the Harmonikids Harmonica is an unprecedented honor and on behalf of Harmonikids I extend my deep heartfelt thanks to HOHNER for their fine products, generosity, and humanitarian spirit.

Now available for purchase!


HARMONIKDS 2012 EVENTS AND WORKSHOPS: See details of all of the many wonderful accomplishments by Harmonikids this year!

HOHNER ALLIANCE:  In 2012 Hohner continued its alliance with Harmonikids by generously providing harmonicas and sponsoring sessions and events. Clay Edwards, CEO of Hohner, Inc. stated, "Harmonikids is a first class organization with its heart in the right place and Gary Allegretto couldn’t be better in relating to the children”. Read HOHNER's web press release here.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION: This year I was honored with  a prestigious E-chievement Award by "eTown", the internationally-syndicated radio show heard by more than a million listeners each week on 300 commercial and NPR stations worldwide. The E-Chievement Award segment of the program highlights stories of "hometown heroes" from around the country working to make a positive difference in their communities and beyond.
THANKS TO OUR SUPPORTERS! Very special thanks to all of Harmonikids supporters in every regard. Through your many generous individual donations, corporate donations (Bentley Systems), events (The Riverfront Blues Festival in Wilmington, DE), fundraisers (Barbizon), alliances and partnerships (Hohner, The Folk Alliance), media coverage, web support and design (Barb Belli), publicity and technical support (Xiren Wang) and assistance of every kind - you have helped make these remarkable accomplishments possible. Here's a list and links to some of our sponsors.

This is just some of the terrific work and positive impact that Harmonikids had in the past year. Please pass this along to someone who may be interested in reading about and supporting Harmonikids. Your support and assistance makes it all possible. You can also help by donating money or mileage, bringing a Harmonikids or a "Blues in the Schools" session to a facility near you, or by providing Harmonikids workshops at your local festival or event.

Kind regards for the New Year and always,

Gary Allegretto
Founding Director, Harmonikids