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THE MISSION
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The Gift of Song

 

The Gift of Song exists to provide grade school through high school aged children, during their most vulnerable and formative years,  a safe space and a community where they can develop the social, self-discipline and communication skills required to succeed in school, work and life.

 

We accomplish this through the performing arts where each child (at no cost to them or their family) learns:

 

  • How to successfully work in a team environment where they must perform at their best and provide the support and encouragement needed for their colleagues to do the same

 

  • To expand their individual presentation skills through group rehearsals and individual practice -- so that they are prepared when called upon in rehearsals and during performances

 

  • That focus, attention to detail and preparation are key to developing strong results and successful relationships that can last a lifetime.

 

  • Giving back is vital to having a purpose-driven life and that Gift of Song, its performers and family members raise money through our performances to support college scholarships; economic assistance for disadvantaged members of the community and connection with elderly folks -- who are living in retirement or assisted-living residences and may be experience a sense of isolation.

 

 

The Gift of Song:

 

  • Provides a safe space

 

  • Provides a sense of community

  • Boosts self-confidence

  • Raises self-esteem

  • Raises awareness of others, teaches empathy

  • Educates - history, current events, cultural differences - all of these subjects can be taught through music and theater

 

  • Empowers - give kids a voice through performance. Gives our teen performers opportunities to take leadership positions through choreography and musical direction.

 

  • Provides acceptance - everyone is special

 

  • Serves - through community outreach appearances, food and toy drives, scholarships, and fund raising efforts for worthy causes (such as helping a family when their son was diagnosed with cancer). Older group members mentor younger participants, and share their skills with others. Back in 2017, The Gift of Song raised over $5,000 to help the family of Raymond Cruz, who was battling Ewing-like Sarcoma. Funds were raised through passing the hat at performabces, holding a weekend of benefit concerts, and we held a coin collecting drive (called “Make a Change for the Future”). The kids saved and gathered up spare change. We all got together and rolled coins while we rehearsed for the benefit concert. We rolled over $800 in coins! Sadly, Raymond passed away in 2019, and The Gift of Song raised another $2,500 to help cover the cost of his headstone.

    

  • Assists- helps kids receive training they otherwise could not afford

  • Nurtures - each child receives the instruction they require to succeed, rather than a cookie cutter process that may not work for each participant. Additionally, our most experienced group members always embrace and celebrate the accomplishments of others, no matter how “small” those accomplishments may seem.

 

 

How are donations used?

 

The Gift of Song is an all volunteer-based organization. All administrative expenses and services are donated, therefore all monies received go towards the following only:

 

The production costs for each showcase. These costs include:

-Sheet Music

-Recordings

-Costumes

-Props

-Snacks and Meals on long days

-Venue

 

    An average showcase can cost between $1,500-2,500 to produce. We usually only earn 

    between $750-1,000 in ticket proceeds, so we rely heavily on donations and grants to 

    bridge the gap

 

The production costs for our two summer musicals. These costs include:

-Licensing and royalties

-Accompaniment tracks

-Costumes

-Props

-Set materials (lumber, hardware, tools, paint)

-Venue

 

    An average musical can cost between $5,000-7,000 to produce. We usually only earn 

    about $4,000-5,000 in ticket sales, so we rely heavily on donations and grants to bridge 

    the gap.

 

Scholarships and our discretionary giving fund. To date we have been able to provide the following assistance:

 

  • GOS donated funds to Act Too Players to provide scholarships so two deserving students could participate in their upcoming production of “Chicago.”

  • GOS provided assistance to TMP Productions to take kids to Atlanta to audition for "The Wiz"

  • GOS helps a young college student, currently in his second year at Texas State University, with modest financial support each semester. He is hard-working, extremely talented and is very deserving or our support.

  • GOS, through its former Ray Cruz Memorial Scholarship fund, provided a Williamson County student assistance in 2022 as they auditioned for performing arts colleges, to include payment of registration fees, travel, audition clothing, head shots and 

       audition prep training.

  • GOS provided 100 care kits for the homeless and donated them to Open Table for distribution. Our group members helped               assemble all of these kits. 100 stockings for senior shut-ins will be donated to Meals on Wheels in December, 2023

We do not pay any salaries. Our rehearsal space is donated, as is our storage space and technical equipment. Occasionally, we will give a stipend to a college student in the group in exchange for them working on a show. These are college kids that really need the money so it is nice to reward them for continiung to support the group into their young adulthood.

 

It never costs anyone anything to participate in The Gift of Song. All materials, costumes and snacks are provided.

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ABOUT THE FOUNDER

Leslie and her husband, Bob, founded The Gift of Song back in 2007. Their goal was to provide youth performance opportunities they otherwise might not get to experience, at no cost to the participants. The initial mission was to give youth a space to express themselves creatively and to let them discover and show the community what they were capable of (so often young people in the arts are told what they can't do, rather than encouraging them to work towards what they ultimately CAN do). In the early days, rehearsals were held in their living room, and a small theatre loaned their venue for performances.  Over the years, the mission of the group has grown to include service to the community, fundraising for worthy causes, and the administration of several arts-related scholarship funds. After being strictly a labor of love for Bob and Leslie for a dozen years, The Gift of Song officially became a 501c3 non-profit arts organization in 2019. GOS is now the proud administrator of Caitlin's Chorus in Santa Clarita (where The Gift of Song originated), and use a lot of our Tennessee proceeds to do good work in the middle Tennessee area. We gratefully support other non-profits with community-service missions, particularly if they are youth-oriented organizations.

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