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March 5, 2013 > Music, Magic, Memories

Music, Magic, Memories

By Isabella Ohlmeyer

"Music is the literature of the heart; it commences where speech ends," said 19th Century French writer, poet and politician Alphonse de Lamartine. Some have difficulty expressing themselves in conversation, through writing or even emotionally, but for many, music is therapeutic, freedom of the heart which creates beautiful expression beyond measure. Celebrate the wonderful power and communication of music at the 25th Annual Music for Minors II Gala on Friday, March 15 at the Fremont Marriott.

Celebrating love of music began for Music for Minors II (MFMII) in the East Bay in 1988. Its programs are not only present in the East Bay, but through parent organization, Music for Minors, serves peninsula cities and school districts of Los Altos, Mountain View, San Mateo, and Sunnyvale. MFMII Executive Director Carol Zilli says the nonprofit organization empowers children through the power of music. "I was first and foremost concerned with students not getting involved in school and in their community; therefore, I believed that through music performance and education, these East Bay students will feel motivated to become involved."

Zilli began teaching MFMII's docent training program at Ohlone College in 1990, increasing the number of local volunteers. Each Fall, between mid-September and mid-November, approximately 25-30 volunteers trained annually in Fremont until 2005 when a second training location was added through the Castro Valley Adult School, increasing annual new volunteers to 30-40. MFMII's 25th Docent Training Classes will be taught at both the Castro Valley Adult School and the Fremont Adult School with a goal of preparing 50 new docents for schools in the fall of 2013.

Today MFMII serves Fremont, Newark, and Castro Valley School Districts along with some Extended Day Care Centers in Dublin and Pleasanton, private schools and pre-schools. Currently, about 100 docents share half hour weekly music lessons with almost 5,000 children. Music for Minors II has been warmly received in the East Bay community, receiving generous funding donations from the Fremont Unified School District, Niles PTA, and the Candle Lighters.

The Benefit Gala will celebrate the organization's devoted volunteers as former and current volunteers reunite while increasing the program's visibility in the community. Funds raised will expand MFMII within current school districts served and introduce its programs to Hayward, San Lorenzo, San Leandro, and Milpitas. Since its inception, MFMII's mission is to fill a "void" by bringing music education to schools and nurturing the love and literacy of music in children's lives. Zilli says, "The void continues and has even become more severe due to budgetary cutbacks and the current economy. Children cannot wait for future funding. They are the most susceptible in their formative years and often a musical experience can open up a child to the amazing world of music for a lifetime."

Gala attendees will enjoy a delicious dinner, fun-filled silent and live auctions and talented local entertainers including Music for Minors students who will perform opening songs, "You Can Make a Miracle" and "Music in Me." Docents, Newark Memorial Advanced Choir, an Indian dance troupe and the Dream Achievers Band of young adults with autism will also be providing entertainment. A harpist, opera singer, live Peruvian band led by a new MFMII docent and dancing are all part of the evening's festivities. Dessert will include a champagne toast to another 25 years and certificates of sponsor recognition. MFMII thanks "Fremont Bank for being such a strong Platinum Sponsor of the Gala along with many other sponsors and donors to make this milestone event so memorable."

Early registration is requested since dinner entree selections are necessary. Tickets will not be available at the door. All proceeds from the Gala go directly to Music for Minors II.

For more information and pre-registration, visit

Music for Minors II Gala: Music, Magic, Memories
Friday, Mar 15
6 p.m. - 11 p.m.
Fremont Marriott
46100 Landing Pkwy., Fremont
(510) 733-1189

Tickets: $55 per person

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