By Dan Murphy
Under the auspices of Church on the Hill, the Max Reger Foundation of America helps foster the careers of budding, young musicians from throughout the city while honoring the celebrated early 20th-century German composer and concert pianist for whom the not-for-profit organization is named.
David Cox served as the church’s organist in 2006, when he conceived of the foundation as a lasting tribute to Reger, whose innovative use of harmonies influenced Arnold Schoenberg and other notable composers, said Carlton Doctor, the church’s minister of music and a foundation board member.
Through its “Young Artists Awards Program,” the foundation works with New England Conservatory of Music today to help identify up to two musically talented but underprivileged youths between the ages of 10 and 16. The foundation goes on to help underwrite the cost of the musicians’ educations at Boston-area conservatories for the duration of their time there. One past recipient is Phuong Nghi Pham, who went on to perform several times with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, as well as twice on NPR’s “From The Top.”
“We picked her up as young student and stayed with her for six years,” Doctor said. “It’s amazing how she blossomed into a performer who has played with the BSO four times.”
The foundation’s two current young artists will be showcased performing Reger’s works during its fourth annual fundraising-gala at Church on the Hill on Saturday, March 25. The night will also pay tribute to this year’s guest of honor, Sharon Daniels, associate professor of music at Boston University and a former opera star.
Other past gala honorees have included Tod Machover, a composer, inventor and MIT’s professor of music and media; and Ran Blake, a composer, pianist and New England Conservatory instructor.
“The tradition is to recognize educators who have made a big impression on music worldwide,” Doctor said.
In addition to honoring Daniels and the young musicians, the night will include a silent auction, hors d’oeuvres, a sit-down, gourmet dinner, and a live swing band with dancing.
“It’s a fun evening that helps promote the music educations of two talented young kids who otherwise wouldn’t be able to continue on these paths,” Doctor said.
The Max Reger Foundation of America annual Gala takes place at Church on the Hill, located at 140 Bowdoin St., on Saturday, March 25, beginning at 6 p.m.
Tickets for the event are $75 each, and can be purchased from the church directly by calling 617-523-4575. You may also purchase tickets by visiting www.churchonthehillboston.org, or sending checks made payable to “Max Reger Foundation of America” to Church on the Hill Reger Gala, 140 Bowdoin St., Boston, MA. 02108. Tickets are also available at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2710454.
Visit maxreger.org to learn more about the Max Reger Foundation of America