NextGen singer donates NextGen scholarship
Ian Wolfe’s Harmony University experience was—surprise!—fantastic. He wants someone else to get similarly electrified, so he’s making a scholarship gift for next year.
A collegiate a cappella singer, after graduating Penn State, Ian attended an a cappella festival and met Gimme Four, whom he had seen on YouTube. Already looking for a new singing experience, Ian accepted the invitation to drive three hours to visit the then-new Parkside Harmony chorus.
Attending Harmony University a few years ago as a general studies student, Ian naturally gravitated to his peers who were singing in the NextGen Chorus and on his return this year, was more deeply engaged at the urging of his friends Melody Hine and Katie Macdonald.
“Say whatever you want about the music talent — which was fantastic, even with only 20 singers — but the Next Gen chorus was about all these great people from all around the world, with different backgrounds, which made the whole thing so special,” says Ian. The identity of the group grew not as a Youth with a capital Y experience, but simply, like-minded peers coalescing in a great setting. A welcoming environment set by the leaders helped, but mostly, it was young singers willing to really dive into the meaning of the music, sharing freely, and practicing vulnerability.
“You get to see a different world. There’s a group chat that still gets 50 messages every day. We just had a reunion on Zoom last week. This was a moment that everyone in the chorus will remember for the rest of their lives, says Ian.
Looking back on the experience, Ian realized what a great joy and privilege it was to participate in that. As a child, he had toured with a boys choir thanks to donor support, and only now as an adult, could he fully understand the impact of that gift. “I’m now in a place where I can understand how valuable music is, and how valuable that experience is. I want to help one more person have that same kind of opportunity.”
So he acted. Talking with the BHS development team, Ian made a gift to support one singer attending the NextGen Chorus. “I can’t make it a perpetual gift, or a dozen people, but maybe one person can catch some of that excitement.”
Will it be life changing? Who knows. How far down the path does that impact extend?
Donors make a difference
That moment when you realize barbershop is core to your identity ... that's when you should think about paying it forward, as a donor to the Barbershop Harmony Society.