The 2013-14 school year is the eighth year during which Reaching Heights will provide private music lesson scholarships to students in grades 5-9 in the CH-UH schools. The program was created to honor the memory of Vince Patti, a longtime music teacher in the Heights schools. Since 2010, the program has also remembered Denise Jackson, a Reaching Heights trustee, musician in her own right, and parent in our district, who died in 2010.
Over the life of the program, 175 students have gained the opportunity to hone their musical skills with the help of private music lessons they were able to enjoy thanks to winning a Patti-Jackson Music Lesson Scholarship. Our thanks go to donors who make this program possible.
Shortly after Vince Patti passed away in July of 2005, his children and friends decided that a fitting tribute to this inspiring musician and educator would be to create a fund in his name to support the Heights tradition of musical excellence. Mr. Patti taught elementary instrumental music for much of his 20 year tenure in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights school district. They asked Reaching Heights to create a special purpose fund named for the Patti Family and to use it to implement a music lesson scholarship program for CH-UH elementary and middle school students that would allow them to gain a firm footing with their instruments.
Fund raising began with a benefit concert held in July of 2006 at Cain Park. A $10,000 leadership gift from the A.M. McGregor Home, Mr. and Mrs. Patti’s home for more than 10 years, gave the fund a great start. Proceeds from the concert and individual donations gave the fund adequate resources for Reaching Heights to begin the music lesson scholarship program in January of 2007 awarding scholarships to 35 students. Benefit concerts held at McGregor in 2007, 2008, and 2009, along with continued solicitations, keep the fund growing.
Following Denise’s death, her husband, Stew Pharis, asked that any memorial gifts be given to Reaching Heights, providing additional resources for our music lesson scholarship program. Donations to Reaching Heights-Patti/Jackson Fund may be made at any time.
Here are photos from a concert celebrating our 2009 Patti Family Scholars, held at McGregor Home. Read the program here.