top of page

Close Encounters in Music

Close Encounters in Music  is the outreach program of the Musical Merit Foundation, providing a rich cultural experience for schoolchildren in greater San Diego County.

In our artistically-disenfranchised schools it is refreshing to see the wide-eyed delight of the children who have experienced the performances of our young artists via CLOSE ENCOUNTERS. In each instance, the performing artist has brought focus, commitment, and brilliant artistry to schoolchildren of all ages, sharing heartfelt and personal stories of his or her own process of becoming a musician, answering questions from absolute naïveté to acquired musical sophistication with the utmost respect, humor and seriousness.


In the past few years, harpist Sarah Davis performed Lady Gaga tunes at the end of a program of romantic and impressionist harp selections; pianist Vincent Yang played on out-of-tune upright pianos rolled into the classroom as well as exquisite concert grands with verve and excitement; Violinist Lisa Kim and pianist Dana Burnett thrilled middle school and high school string students with selections by Mozart and Brahms, plus an entertaining showpiece “Yankee Doodle Dandy” by Henri Vieuxtemps for solo violin. Flutist James Romeo played everything from Irish dance tunes to gorgeous classical flute selections and even used the last remaining music stand (taped together for his performance) in one middle school. Baritone Gregorio Gonzalez sang an appealing program of songs from Zarzuela and American musical theatre.

Close Encounters in Music is funded entirely by Musical Merit Foundation with no cost to the participating schools.


For more information...

If you are interested in having one our young artists visit your school, please contact:

Dr. Mitzi Kolar and Joan Henkelmann

bottom of page