Skip to main content

An unfortunate fact of becoming a musician is that it can be really expensive, especially to purchase an instrument. It is not uncommon for some professional level instruments to cost as much as $20,000, and for solo level instruments to exceed six figures. While CMPI does provide a stipend to high school students for the purchase of a professional level instrument, often fellows need to fundraise additional money to cover the total cost of the instrument.

Listed below are a few current fundraisers from fellows in need of instruments. Please consider supporting these students on their paths to musical success.

Pierre Ngoy - Raising money for a TUBA!

Thank you for taking the time to visit my fundraising page.

My name is Pierre Ngoy, a high-school junior, a tubist, and a member of the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative (CMPI) and Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras (CYSO), one of the best youth orchestras in the nation.

I have enjoyed playing tuba since the 4th grade before joining CMPI and CYSO. I attended the Midwest Clinic at McCormick Place in December 2022 where I tried most of the tubas before selecting the Miraphone for its rich sound and easy operability, with the help of my teacher, Scott Tegge. Your donations will allow me to own a Miraphone tuba 291 (Size 5/4, 5 rotary valves) to continue pursuing my music interests.

Please feel free to pass along this message. Thank you very much for your generosity, support, and encouragement.

Note from Pierre’s Student Navigator: Pierre was able to attend the Midwest Clinic with his teacher, Scott Tegge, thanks to Chicago Sinfonietta’s sponsorship of free passes for our student fellows this past December. He got to try a number of instruments there, which is how they decided on the particular instrument he’s hoping to purchase for college.

Click Here to Help Pierre Buy His Tuba

Eythan Poku - Raising money for a HARP!

Warmest greetings, Family and Friends!

Come help support Eythan’s unique talent for harp playing. This year he progressed to a level requiring a Full-Size Professional Harp at the prestigious CMPI (Chicago Musical Pathway Initiative), where he has been a fellow for four years. We aim to raise $18k towards purchasing and delivering a full-size professional pedal harp.

Please join this foundational support team to build the dream of reaching future harpists in our communities. Eythan is determined to promote and encourage young musicians to take on the harp as an integral part of our collective development in music.

Let’s make this enterprising dream come true and raise a generation of harpists that light our lives with the delightful chords of harmony!

Click Here to Help Eythan Buy His Harp

Mateo Estanislao - Raising money for a DOUBLE BASS!

Hello, my name is Mateo Estanislao. I’m a senior at Larkin High School and I play Double Bass. I want to share my story with music. My goal is to raise money to help me buy an instrument that suits my body. I need an instrument that will hold up through continuing my education and starting a professional career as a double bassist.

This is me!

Music has saved my life twice. Plain and simple, I might not be here if it was not for music. The first time was during covid when school was completely online. I had a lot of trouble adjusting to a new environment, couldn’t focus without a fixed schedule, and adjusting to new medications. All of those variables caused me to struggle in school and start spiraling down fast. I couldn’t handle everything that was going on and needed a way to deal with it.

Music was my rock throughout that year. When I was stressed, I played bass to take my mind off of it. When I was feeling depressed, I practiced to occupy my mind rather than letting my thoughts wander. Every week I looked forward to my lesson with my teacher Katy Balk. She kept me engaged and invested in music even when I just wanted to give up. When I didn’t know how to express what I was feeling, I turned to music to help get everything out. That is how I discovered how much I need music in my life.

The second time was about a year later when my medications for my mental health weren’t working properly. I was unable to focus or function properly. It got to the point where I would try listening and taking notes on my lectures and wouldn’t remember anything I did. My mental health started getting worse and I started having suicidal thoughts. At that point, I was terrified and decided to prioritize my mental health over anything else. It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever gone through and I don’t know if I would have made it without music.

Music was a constant in my life that kept me grounded. Each week I went to lessons, each day I’d practice, and it kept me going. I was able to recover and get into a better environment that was conducive to my mental health. That event fundamentally changed me. I learned strategies that would help me before my mental health spiraled. I can better articulate how I’m feeling and what I need to get help. None of this would be possible without music.

Along with my mental health, I’ve had some physical issues with my instrument. I got tendinitis in both of my elbows last January. The technique I was being taught wasn’t intended for someone with my body type and weight. I was continually practicing techniques that put unnecessary stress on my body until it was too much. This injury was so bad that I had trouble even bending my arms. I was in so much pain that I couldn’t get a full night’s sleep because every movement brought excruciating pain. I thought that my career as a musician was over before it started and that crushed me. I couldn’t even hold my instrument for months.

Due to all of these issues, my teacher and I decided that I would take a gap year to give me enough time to recover and audition for music school the following year. After several months of occupational therapy, I finally went back to having weekly lessons in June with a different teacher, Peter Hatch. I was ecstatic to be able to play again, but terrified that I would reinjure my elbows. Thankfully, my teacher went slowly and helped me get adjusted to playing again. We mostly focused on rebuilding my technique so that I could play comfortably and be pain-free. At the end of the summer, I felt even more comfortable with my instrument than before I was injured. When I started lessons with my normal teacher, Ian Hallas, in September, he was shocked by my growth and we decided that I should go to a smaller music program for a year and transfer rather than take a gap year. I’m doing this so I can be in a productive environment, but not be in such a competitive space that I overwhelm my body again. Things are looking good for me now. I’ve been accepted to music school and I’m really excited to continue my journey with music.

I am currently a part of the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestras, playing in their Youth Symphony. Additionally, I am a fellow with the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative, which connected me with my current teacher Ian Hallas. I am so grateful to my colleagues and conductors at EYSO who create an amazing environment to learn and play amazing symphonic literature from all musical periods. I am proud of my achievement to be a part of such a rigorous program like CMPI. CMPI is an organization dedicated to getting young musicians of color into top music schools in the United States. They offer financial help, connect us with professional musicians, and advise us on how we can be successful in such a rigorous career.

My teacher, Ian Hallas, has been instrumental in my growth as a musician and person. I came to Ian with a lot of self-taught techniques and enthusiasm. Ian saw my talent and helped me rework and perfect my foundations. Ian helped direct my enthusiasm and completely changed how I look at music.

The reason I’m asking for money is to help buy an instrument. One thing my injury has specifically taught me is that I need to be comfortable when I play and pain-free. I played on a cheap plywood rental bass until October 2022. In my lessons and practice time, I was getting extremely frustrated because my bass wasn’t responding to what I was trying to do. Ian played my bass and flat-out said I need a better one that won’t hold me back anymore. I brought this issue to my high school teacher to see if I could borrow one of the basses there. That bass I’m currently playing on is a hybrid bass from school. While it is so much better than my rental, I will have to return it in May.

I want to use any money I raise to help find an instrument that will be comfortable for me to play for as long as possible. I need an instrument that will be conducive to my learning and growth in the coming years. Any extra money I receive will be put towards a professional quality bow, a bent endpin, strings, an extension, and any repairs I might need. All of these would help me so much in being comfortable and performing at the highest level I can. I want to thank you for reading my story and seeing such an intimate part of my life.

Click Here to Help Mateo Buy His Bass


Student Headshots

Would you like to make a gift to support CMPI?

Donate today