The Carlsen Cello Foundation
We welcome the opportunity to tell you about the Carlsen Cello Foundation. We know you are asked to help many worthy causes, but we thought this project would be of particular interest to you as musicians, and hope that you might choose one of the ways outlined below to get involved and help.
The Carlsen Cello Foundation is a small non-profit organization that loans quality cellos at no cost to serious, committed students who cannot afford the instrument they deserve. Currently, the Foundation has placed about 18 cellos with young students nationwide – from Boston, Massachusetts to Jacksonville, North Carolina, and in the Northwest. However, the need is greater than we anticipated: every week we receive more requests from worthy students.
As you well know, for a string player, the chance to learn and perform on a quality instrument is priceless. Many students struggle with an instrument whose tone is inferior and whose construction makes intricate technical material virtually impossible to play. The resulting frustration often prevents a student from progresssing and can even make them decide to quit. Obviously, a good cello allows technical facility and expressive freedom unattainable on a lesser instrument. The chance to learn and play on such an instrument can make the difference between continuing to study or stopping altogether; and this decision can often change a life.
The current instrument market has skyrocketed, bringing the cost of a decent cello, in most cases, to well over $10,000. Families of limited financial means are quickly met with this impossible challenge, and there are no organizations that address this specific dilema. The Carlsen Cello Foundation extends to deserving students the chance to experience and benefit from all that a fine cello can offer.
Dr. Ray Carlsen has dedicated his time and resources to this project for the last 3 years, although he has been collecting cellos and loaning them out on a less formal basis for about 10. It is not difficult to figure that all of his cellos may be loaned by the end of 2002. It is also becoming clear that he cannot finance the entire project himself.
We probably need funding every year to lend 20-30, maybe more, instruments. We provide a service with such low overhead that largely all we need is financial capability to buy needed cellos and restore them, plus other minor expenses.
Would you, as informed and enthusiastic musicians yourselves, be willing to participate? Would you make a donation to the Foundation—or help purchase an instrument? It would be so much appreciated—by us and especially the recipients. It could be awarded under your name, e.g. ‘The loan of this cello was made possible by a gift from John Smith’. Or you could sponsor a particular student over a given period of time. Could you pass this information along to anyone else who might be likely to help?
We will be grateful for your support and involvement on any level. You can reach Ray Carlsen by e mail at email@example.com, or at (425) 455-9945. All donations are tax deductible because we are a charitable 501(c)(3) organization. They can be sent directly to Carlsen Cello Foundation, 1515 116th Avenue NE, Suite 202, Bellevue, WA 98004. Thank you very much.
Ray Carlsen, founder and director
Miriam Shames, volunteer consultant