Classics 4 Kids (C4K) and Advocates For Classical Music (AFCM) began their relationship in 2005 when the Education Vice President, Aveline von Ehrenberg, was approached by C4K for docents. Ever since this interaction, the partnership has blossomed into years of rewarding work and strong, mutual support. 

AFCM is led by President Ron Bierman, and they strive to encourage young musicians and “build future audiences for classical music in San Diego through support of music education and appreciation.” The group was founded in 1996 and has remained very passionate about exposing classical music to younger generations who otherwise may not have known much about the genre. In order to accomplish this mission, AFCM sends out docents to more than 100 schools in San Diego County and also provides thousands of dollars in funding for transportation and other expenses. 

The organization runs like a well-oiled machine thanks to people like Mimi Lee, the Administrative Vice President, who was drawn to AFCM due to her appreciation for music and her passion for working with children. Similarly, Aveline von Ehrenberg began working with AFCM after retiring in the healthcare field and wanting to stay active by carrying out her passion for music education. Both volunteers are extremely dedicated to their work and are inspired to continue what they’re doing because of the impact they have on the children. 

In an effort to heighten this impact, AFCM has started their own Diversity Task Force. The task force will explore ways to attract and recruit more diverse docents that the school children can relate to. Because many of the children visited in the AFCM program are minorities, it is important for them to see adult role models in classical music that they can connect to on a cultural basis, and potentially be inspired to follow in those footsteps. 

Some favorite memories of Mimi, Aveline, and Ron include attending the Classics 4 Kids concerts and seeing the excitement and joy the children have at these performances. Additionally, all three love to see the excellence of Dana Zimbric in leading the C4K Philharmonic Orchestra and engaging with the young audience. These concerts can be life-changing experiences for the children, and C4K is delighted to continue the great work they achieve with the dedicated music enthusiasts at AFCM.

-by Isaiah Crooks, C4K Intern