East Harlem Children’s Orchestra May Be Forced To Shut Down Due To Financial Struggle

December 16, 2019

A nearly decade-old program providing the gift of music to underprivileged children in Harlem may be nearing its end.

They’re asking for help to survive.

Eleven-year-old CJ Watch has become quite the accomplished cornet player. His skills are fine-tuned after four years with the Phil Ramone Children’s Orchestra, founded by and named after the late legendary music producer.

“To be in here, it’s special for me because I get to play with other friends,” CJ told CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez.


The program, once run by the Salvation Army of Greater New York, is in danger of folding.

One year ago, CBS2 reported on its financial struggle and helped bring in funding to keep it afloat. The program provides free instrument rentals and lessons for underprivileged children, but now the Salvation Army has ended its financial support of the orchestra.

“To think of it going under would be horrible,” orchestra director Ken Burton said.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Harlem World Magazine, 2521 1/2 west 42nd street, Los Angeles, CA, 90008, https://www.harlemworldmagazine.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Burton worries a possible future in music for many children may be over.

“It would be disappointing because it would be like something that was taken away from me that I love,” 9-year-old Sophia Goya said.

“I’m not gonna cry because my wife told me not to cry,” Burton said.

The Salvation Army initially invested $1 million to get the orchestra started nine years ago.

Now, because of budget constraints and fewer people donating money to the program, a spokesperson says it had to cut ties.

Burton and several of the orchestra’s supporters, including Phil Ramone’s brother-in-law, are trying to run the program on their own as a nonprofit.

To learn more about the program and how you can make a donation, visit ramoneorchestra.org.

Read the entire article here.

We're your source for local coverage, we count on your support. SPONSOR US!
Your support is crucial in maintaining a healthy democracy and quality journalism. With your contribution, we can continue to provide engaging news and free access to all.
accepted credit cards

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Articles