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.  A $200 donation endows a Patti-Jackson Chair in the name of a person or musical instrument.  Endowed chairs will be listed on music event programs for at least one year following the donation. 


Patti-Jackson Endowed Chairs

The Bellini Family Cello Chair                          The Oliver Family Chair 

  Gift from Suzanne Bellini                                                 Gift from Louisa & Solomon Oliver 

The Dunbar Family Chair                                The Resseger Family Chair

  Gift from Mary Dunbar                                           Gift from Bill & Jan Resseger

The Gary Friedman Oboe Chair                       The Schubert Family Chair

  Gift from Gary Friedman                                        Gift from Barbara & John Schubert 

The Daniel Heim Chair                                    The Sersig/Brandt Family Chairs (4)

  Gift from Kim Bambakidis                                      Gift from Beth Sersig & Chris Brandt

The Susie Kaeser Chair                                   The Norine Sharp Chair

  Gift from Tom & Dorothy Bier                                  Gift from Blanche & Jack Valancy

The Kazdan-Gooch Chair                                 The Shumaker Chair 

  Gift from David Kazdan & Laura Gooch                        Gift from Sharon Shumaker & Mark Chupp

The Helen Lalewicz - Violin Chair                      The Sourini-Korane Family Chair

  Gift from Donna Lalewicz                                        Gift from Jodi Sourini & Ken Korane

The Heights Rocks Chair                                  The Wolpert-Lesser Family Chair

  Gift from Vikki Nowak                                            Gift from Susan Wolper & Ray Lesser

The Maier Family Chair                                    The Kenneth Hall Woodside Flute Chair   

  Gift from Howard & Susan Maier                                Gift from Beth Woodside

Patti-Jackson Music Lesson Scholarship



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. The A.M. McGregor Home, (Mr. and Mrs. Patti’s home for more than 10 years) gave a $10,000 leadership gift which gave the fund a great start. Proceeds from the concert and individual donations provided 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 increased the fund.


Denise Jackson was a Reaching Heights trustee, parent of Heights musicians, and accomplished musician in her own right. She began her career as a musician in Chicago and subsequently became a successful Cleveland attorney. Denise had a lifelong passion for music. She earned both a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University, and performed with the New World Symphony in Miami under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. She was creative in many areas, including gardening, knitting, and working with glass and tile.

Contact us:


Reaching Heights Office: 

2843 Washington Blvd.

Cleveland Heights, OH 44118