Music for Nikhil
Our Inspiration

Nikhil had a passion for music from an early age. He excelled at piano, but especially loved his trumpet. At age 11, Nikhil had auditioned for and been accepted to play the trumpet for the prestigious Youth Orchestras of Essex County (YOEC). One of the requirements of the YOEC Orchestra is that students accepted into the program take private lessons in addition to their school music program. Nikhil’s first individual trumpet lesson was scheduled for June 15th, and he was extremely excited to start. Unfortunately, he did not make it to that first lesson.

In the wake of this tragedy, we realized that while Nikhil was unable to further his trumpet education, there are many talented and capable musicians who cannot participate at a similar level due to financial constraints. Thus emerged the idea to form a foundation that offers individualized lessons to underserved children at no cost.

Our Music Lessons

There are currently 53 participants, with 38 on full scholarship in the Music for Nikhil program from the Middle schools and High Schools in West Orange. Lessons are being provided in trumpet, alto saxophone, trombone, bassoon, oboe, tuba, flute, guitar and voice lessons to special needs students. Our goal is to have no more than three students in a lesson. The weekly hour-long lessons are provided at no cost to need-based students and at a reduced cost for other students. The lessons are held at the schools for 30 weeks of the academic year and meet after school hours.

How can I participate?       DOWNLOAD MFN APPLICATION

Currently, students in Middle and High School in the West Orange school district are eligible for the program. Students should demonstrate talent, passion for music and have a basic level of proficiency in the instrument of choice. Interested students are required to submit an application, which includes a short essay on why they should be selected for this program. Candidates may be asked to audition as well. Applications are available through the school music teachers. Students applying for a scholarship must demonstrate financial need.

Program Timeline

January 2012 - Launched program with 20 students in the Middle Schools

February 2012 - Established partnership with Youth Orchestra of Essex County (YOEC)

September 2012 - Expanded program to High School students

November 2013 - Established partnership with New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO)

December 2013 - Expanded program to 6th grade students

June 2014 - Students performed Prelude Concert at the NJPAC

January 2015 - Students performed at MLK Jr. Ceremony in West Orange

April 2015 - Students performed at Hat City Kitchen

June 2015 - Students performed Prelude Concert at the NJPAC

As the Foundation grows, we intend to add more lessons, as well as partner with schools in neighboring communities to widen the reach of this program.