Sergei Tschernisch named to Youth Peace Program

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Seattle's Sergei Tschernisch (pronounced CHAIR-nish), former President of Cornish College of the Arts, has been named to the Advisory Board of the Music4Life Peace Initiative. The initiative is an annual Seattle-based program to foster international peace through youth music activities.

“We are thrilled to have Sergei's participation on our Advisory Board because of his extensive background in the arts and his strong commitment as an arts activist," says David Endicott, who chairs the activity. “Sergei's involvement in the arts began early in his life as an actor and director in theatre. He has recently returned to the theatre, this time in the position as Director of Advancement at ACT Theatre.”

The Music4Life Peace Initiative is a Rotary-inspired annual event that brings three or four young musicians from each of two traditionally antagonistic cultures to Seattle. The youngsters participate in a summer music camp program, learn that they can work together cooperatively through the inter-national language of music and then take those lessons home with them.

Conductor-Laureate Gerard Schwarz and composer Marvin Hamlisch of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra serve as Honorary Co-Chairs of the Music4Life Peace Initiative. Others currently serving on the Advisory Board include Colleen Armstrong, retired Chief of staff of Seattle Opera; Narayan Baltzo, a life-affirming songwriter and musician; Admiral Bill Center, USN retired and a past president of the Seattle Downtown Rotary Club; Endicott; Dr. Charles Evans, Captain US Public Health Service (retired) and a Magnolia Rotarian; Lisa Fox, an employment program manager and past president of University District Rotary; Yeva Ghazaryan, a music educator and University District Rotarian; and Spencer Lehmann, a retired long-term care insurance executive.

The Music4Life Peace Initiative is working with the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras to place the student-musicians at SYSO’s summertime youth music camp. Called Marrowstone-in-the-City, it is comprised of a two-week, half-day program for young musicians located in Seattle. “We work with young musicians whose attitudes and prejudices are not yet fully ingrained in them,” Endicott says.

The initiative is one activity of Music4Life , a four-year-old program to acquire musical instruments for low income young musicians in public schools. The program began working with Seattle Public Schools and has been expanded to serve young musicians in the Highline School System and in Shoreline Schools. Music4Life received the “Friend of Music” award by the Washington Music Educators Association in February at its biennial statewide conference in Yakima.
Although Music4Life is a Rotary-inspired program, Endicott is quick to point out that it is not necessary to be a member of a Rotary club to support it. “All that is necessary is that a person understands the unique value that participation in instrumental music has in a young person’s total education.”


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