Our mother, Patricia Baum Hackler, was both a musician and an avid gardener. In looking back on her life we realize that mom’s garden was bigger than the one in our yard that produced fresh vegetables all summer long. Mom’s garden was all of Central Illinois and in it she grew music education programs.
Pat Hackler was a violinist and music educator. When the public school orchestra program she directed was cut from the budget, she garnered the support of parents and townspeople to start the Pekin School of Music and kept classical music education alive in our town. She was an early adopter of the Suzuki method and started the Sun Foundation’s Suzuki program, fostering its deep roots in Central Illinois. She was also an original founder of the Central Illinois Youth Symphony which is celebrating its 50th year.
When the Youth Symphony approached us to donate a scholarship, we thought it a great time to commemorate our mother’s commitment to growing music in Central Illinois by establishing an endowed scholarship fund in her name. Our goal is to raise a minimum of $25,000 that will produce dividends for between 1 and 3 full scholarships yearly and support future generations of musicians. We’d like to raise it in time for the endowment to be announced at the CIYS 50th Anniversary Concert on April 17th.
If you have been involved in classical music in Central Illinois at all over the past 50 years, chances are you have been nourished by one of the seeds our mother helped plant. We hope your experience will inspire you to join us in honoring Patricia Baum Hackler’s legacy. And if mom touched your life personally, we’d love to hear about it.
In love and gratitude,
Katie Hackler Young, John and Ann Hackler