Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Westminster Choir College of Rider University hosted the sixth annual New Jersey Music Teachers Association (NJMTA) Children Helping Children Performathon on Saturday, February 26 fand Sunday, February 27.
The Performathon was an opportunity for students of all ages and levels of abilities to share their involvement in music for both artistic enrichment and community service. Each day seven one-hour recitals, with 40 to 45 minutes devoted to music and 10 to 15 minutes devoted to awards and photos, will be performed.
Each year the Performathon raises money for local and national charities. The charity selected this year is once again Ronald McDonald Houses in New Brunswick, Long Branch and Camden, N.J. The performathon raised over $15,000 with more than 170 performers and 45 teachers involved in the effort.
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) is dedicated to the creation and support of programs that help children and their families. The Ronald McDonald Houses are usually connected to or near local children’s hospitals. They provide places to stay at little or no cost to families whose children are undergoing intensive treatment at the hospital.
Betty Stoloff, adjunct associate professor of Piano at Westminster, is leading this effort for NJMTA. Eleven years ago Stoloff and her husband spent two months living at a RMDH while their younger daughter, Becca, was undergoing intensive treatment at the Dupont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del. There happened to be a piano in this house and Betty arranged for a tuner and some repairs on the instrument. She was able to play the piano for herself and for other residents. "It helped me and it helped others," she says. "Music does work miracles."
Many of Betty's colleagues remember that on January 14, 2000, she was told that Becca would not make it through the night. Happily Becca recovered and is now studying human motor control at the University of California, Berkeley in a Bio-Engineering, Neuro-Science Ph.D Program.