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Violins, ballet dancers, and beautiful singing combine to enhance children’s lives through a local non-profit called the Inspire One Foundation, which has been teaching music and art since 2015. This week, you can see it all come together at the annual Inspire One fall concert.
If you’ve never been to a concert with handbells in it, make 2017 the year to mark it off your bucket list. Thursday’s concert at People’s Church is your chance to check out the chimes as well as other musical treats. Bonus: it’s free and will definitely get you in the Christmas spirit.
What is Inspire One?
The Inspire One Foundation is a local non-profit founded by Licia Clark. Teaching children to play violins, choir music, and yes, even handbells, the goal is to “build bridges across socioeconomic and cultural barriers through cooperative participation in the arts.” These bridges are built through music and art at locations within the Central Valley. Twice a year, the groups combine for a concert.
In the town of Biola, Inspire One runs a program for kids that includes violin lessons. You’ll see Inspire One students at different events throughout the year. In fact, the Biola Strings recently marched in the Historic Raisin Parade.The Fresno campus offers music lessons to homeschool families. Ranging from piano to handbells, choirs, dance, and even digital art, there’s tons of variety in the courses available.
Some of my children are in their second semester of Beginner Handbells at Inspire One. My son likes it because he gets to wear gloves. I like it because it’s good for my kids’ brains. Their teacher, Mrs. Cota, has been teaching handbells for over 30 years, and has over 100 published arrangements.
My youngest child is in Beginner Choir and his teacher deserves a medal just for letting those six-year-olds play percussion instruments, such as sticks. I generally try my best to avoid handing my kid sticks, but Mrs. Lumeya isn’t afraid. The result is a cute song called, “I like to Play the Sticks” that I often wake up singing in the night. You can see it performed during this week’s concert.During the concert, students from Biola will join with kids from Fresno to play and sing together. So it’s not only a chance to enjoy beautiful holiday music, it’s a chance to see kids who would probably never cross paths performing together.
If this sounds like a foundation that you can follow, there are many ways to support Inspire One and its vision for cross-cultural unity. You can find out more about volunteer and giving opportunities on their website. For example, during the summer, Inspire One sponsors enrichment days at Biola. Local businesses like Chosen Yogurt donate time and goodies for the kids. And of course, you can always send a tax-deductible financial gift, too (click here to donate).
Inspire One is a great non-profit filled with local talent that knows how to bring out the musical abilities of children. Homeschooling families can check out the list of classes for the Spring semester on the Inspire One website here.