Kurn Hattin Homes Receives Robin Colson Memorial Foundation Funds, Expands Music Program


Westminster, VT – Timing is everything, especially when it comes to music.

When the Robin Colson Memorial Foundation was established in 1993, one of its objectives was to honor Robin’s memory by providing financial aid to organizations for the purchase of musical instruments.  Last month, Kurn Hattin Homes was fortunate to receive funding from the Robin Colson Memorial Foundation to purchase 30 new ukuleles and expand its stellar music program. Serendipitously, they were thrilled to learn that renowned musician Jake Shimabukuro, aka the Jimi Hendrix of ukulele, would be performing nearby.


As timing, luck, and the good will of many would have it, a number of enthusiastic Kurn Hattin students had the opportunity to sit in on Shimabukuro’s sound check at the Spruce Peak Arts Center in Stowe, Vermont. There, Jake spent time talking with the kids about the importance of finding one’s passion and the dedication it takes to become successful. Then, Jake and his band played a private, all-request ukulele concert that included songs by the Beatles and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. In addition to meeting Shimabukuro, his bandmates, and the technical crew, the kids witnessed firsthand how technology and talent come together to make beautiful music.


The excitement generated from this once-in-a-lifetime experience came back to the Homes and has been reverberating in the music room ever since. The generous funding from the Robin Colson Memorial Fund, together with the kindness of spirit extended by Jake Shimabukuro and his team, have launched an exciting new dimension in Kurn Hattin Homes’ music program.


“The Kurn Hattin Music Program is extremely thankful to the Robin Colson Foundation for their generous donation in helping us start a new ukulele program,” said Lisa Bianconi, the Homes’ Director of Music. “These new instruments are allowing our talented children the opportunity to practice, create, and perform new music.”


About Kurn Hattin

Since 1894, Kurn Hattin Homes for Children, located in Westminster, VT, has helped thousands of children and their families by offering a safe home and quality education in a nurturing environment.

As bandmates and crew work on the pre-concert sound check, Jake Shimabukuro (right) explains his high-tech footboard to the Kurn Hattin students who were invited guests at the Spruce Peak Arts Center in Stowe, Vermont.

Gotta be the front row! Kurn Hattin Homes students and chaperone Bob Anderson enjoy a private performance from Jake Shimabukuro on ukulele (center), Connor Johnson on guitar (left), and Jackson Waldhoff on bass (right) at the pre-concert sound check at the Spruce Peak Arts Center in Stowe, Vermont.


With new ukes in hand, these ukuladies are in tune and ready to take on the exciting challenge of learning how to play a new instrument.