Strings in the City
At a time when arts resources for New York City students is quickly diminishing, the Noel Pointer Foundation is answering the call.
The nonprofit organization is perhaps “ Central Brooklyn’s best kept secret.” NPF Executive Director Chinita Pointer explains, “What we do here is empower children, one note at a time.”
The Noel Pointer Foundation, in coordination with the NYC Dept. of Education, offers musical instruction for 26 public schools in violin, viola, piano, and double bass. Although the bulk of its programs are concentrated in districts across Central and East Brooklyn, the program also reaches young residents of Queens, Staten Island, and Manhattan.
In addition to their public school programs, the Noel Pointer Foundation has its own youth orchestra, comprised of musicians from across Bedford-Stuyvesant. They rehearse every Saturday morning with their instructors.
“ We offer an experience for the local youth that they wouldn’t usually be able to get,” explains Ms. Pointer. “Music is a universal language, and by offering musical instruction to children, we are able to expand their boundaries, offer opportunities, and enable them to make more personal connections.”
DJ Program and Instruction
Ms Pointer is well aware that perhaps not everyone is suited for a classical music education, and is making strides to engage music lovers of all kinds.
This past summer, The Noel Pointer Foundation tried something new and invited underground artist and guest deejay, DJ Trauma, for the program’s first-ever DJ program. So popular was the program, NPF is preparing to revive it hopefully as soon as this spring.
“Watching the way these young students engineered sounds and beats was amazing. They were able to combine reggae, rap, and even classical music to create their own performance pieces. It was Hot!” Ms. Pointer laughs.
Currently, the orchestra is preparing for its upcoming holiday concert at the Skylight Gallery on December 17, from 12:00pm – 2:00pm. Individuals and groups will play the music festival. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children under the age of 12.
Joining the NPF Cause
Ms Pointer considers it a blessing to see the fruits of NPF’s labor, especially when NPF alums come back to visit from prestigious schools such as Harvard University or Brandeis College.
The Noel Pointer Foundation is preparing to expand its efforts as a community resource; its goal now is to increase enrollment for their youth orchestra. Also, NPF is always accepting charitable donations in order to subsidize their operating costs.
“Anyone who is looking to get experience working for a nonprofit should get in contact with us,” she said. “It gets busy around here, so we would love to have interns and volunteers, especially to help with our music library!”
For more information or to get involved in Noel Pointer Foundation, email [email protected] or call at 718-230-4825.