Continuing its mission to “Keep the Music Playing” and to “beautify the world through the promotion of music performance and education,” the Red Note Foundation announces its third annual benefit concert and is seeking musicians and volunteers to participate.
“Red Note Foundation is dedicated to helping students and individuals gain the music education they seek while offering opportunities to perform and showcase their talents,” says Ken Hooker, cofounder and executive director.
The foundation was formed by Ken and Ramona Hooker and their daughter, Shelbey, in honor of their oldest daughter, Kristen, who died in a motorcycle accident July 10, 2004, just eight days after her 20th birthday.
“Red Note Foundation was formed to continue what Kristen started: Serving her fellow man, beautifying the world with music, and honoring her God through service and self-improvement,” states the website at www.rednotefoundation.org.
“We wanted to put something together that honored her,” Ken says. “She had the ability to help others, and she used music as the primary way to connect with others on a soul-to-soul level.”
Kristen began her music education playing the flute in the band at Gilbert’s Pioneer Elementary School.
“Kristen liked anything that was different and unique,” Ken said, so, in the eighth grade, she tried playing the bassoon. She readily took to this new instrument and began amassing awards and recognition. Among many other honors, she was one of 76 musicians from across the nation selected to participate in the National Wind Ensemble and to play the bassoon at Carnegie Hall; she played for three years with the Phoenix Symphony Guild Youth Orchestra; and earned a full-ride scholarship to the University of Arizona.
She also used her music to lift and to serve others. She played at numerous church meetings and community functions, often accompanied by her father. She went to elementary schools to teach young people about the bassoon, and she volunteered at Rosie’s House, a music academy for children in inner-city Phoenix
“Kristen’s motivation in life and Kristen’s love for music is something we just can’t lose,” Shelbey said. “Red Note Foundation started as a healing process for us, but we soon realized it was something more.”
“There are so many organizations out there that do a wonderful job, we want to support and collaborate with others to further music education in whatever ways we can,” Ken says.
In addition to providing scholarships for musicians, as a result of last year’s Christmas concert, they were able to donate the first of three bassoons to Rosie’s House to create a bassoon program there. (To learn more about Rosie’s House, see www.rosieshouse.org.)
For this year’s concert, Red Note Foundation is wanting to expand its team of volunteers, and is also looking for musicians and choir members. The third annual benefit concert will be Monday, November 30, at the Mesa Arts Center.
To learn more about the Red Note Foundation, including how to participate in the benefit concert, how to donate, or to sign up for ongoing updates, visit www.rednotefoundation.org.