Community can mean a lot of things to different people. To the members of the Quad City Symphony Youth Ensembles (QCSYE), it means sharing with others who are in need.
On Sunday, September 9, 2018, the QCSYE hosted a clothing drive for the non-profit, Maddie’s Closet, which seeks to provide clothing, shoes, accessories, and hygiene products to school age boys and girls in the Quad Cities area.
“Donating these simple things helps kids be prepared and successful when they may otherwise not show up,” said Kelly Cook, Executive Director and Founder of Maddie’s Closet. “Clothing and hygiene needs are barriers many families are dealing with, that in this day and age should not be something that is happening. If we can even make just a small impact on the lives of kids we come in contact with, then our mission is worth every effort.”
Maddie’s Closet acquired a school bus in 2017 that they converted into a portable closet. The organization hosts donation days where students can peruse the bus for clothing that is generously donated by Quad Cities constituents.
So what does a youth orchestra program have in common with a clothing donation service?
One of the goals of the QCSYE program is to continually develop confidence in the over 275 young musicians in five ensembles on and off stage, and Maddie’s Closet seeks to instill that same confidence through their clothing donation service.
“When I heard about Maddie’s Closet and its mission, I saw the same ideals of confidence, flourishing, and compassion in the QCSYE. This partnership is really about sharing a common goal through different means,” writes Chelsea Schwarzkopf, QCSYE General Manager.
Youth ensemble members and parents dropped off donations during their regular rehearsal times at Augustana College.
“It’s our responsibility to be more connected, understanding, caring, and sharing with others,” said QCSYE parent Malavika Shrikhande. ”The Youth Ensemble’s drive for Maddie’s Closet was a great way to create awareness and highlight the needs of children in our local community.”
The QCSYE program is creating a better Quad Cities, one note and clothing item at a time.
The Quad City Symphony Youth Ensembles (QCSYE) program consists of five performance groups (four youth orchestras and a youth choir) for students in grades two through twelve. Under the direction of the outstanding QCSYE conducting staff, members have the opportunity to perform great orchestral and choral repertoire with the most talented young musicians in the area and learn from the mentorship of professional musicians from throughout the region. Ensemble members come from the greater Quad Cities, as well as other communities in southeast Iowa and northwest Illinois.