Letter 2018

A year ago, I accepted the position of music director at Unity Lutheran Church of Berwyn. Throughout the year, I found myself constantly in awe of how eager this congregation was to be active in the community. Any idea with great potential was embraced with significant enthusiasm, passion, and optimism. It was through this experience that I realized my vision for a concert series at Unity could become a reality. The venue and the community had enormous potential to accomplish two tasks: establish a music program benefiting the talented youth with opportunities they couldn’t afford elsewhere and provide Berwyn and its surrounding communities with access to classical music. The positive feedback and support I received from the church and fellow musicians encouraged me to further pursue this endeavor. Many obstacles were anticipated as we developed the idea. We knew we would only be able to host the concerts if we had an instrument matching the caliber of the artists that had already volunteered to perform. The need for a better piano was the most immediate obstacle and an indispensable key to the success of this idea.

It was then that Project 88 was born. Named in reference to the number of keys on a piano, it aims to bring new opportunities to Berwyn. Our intent is to provide the community access to classical music through not only a series of concerts, but also through educational outreach to the area’s youth. We also desire to integrate other art forms into this project by engaging other talented members of the local community. Our ultimate mission is to establish a facility in which youth would have free access to high quality music education. It is, indeed, an ambitious idea that requires a substantial amount of time and dedication.

Fortunately, a group of talented volunteers who share a passion for the project embraced my vision wholeheartedly. One of the first advocates was Lucile Evans, who has been a patron of the arts in the Berwyn community, promoting artists and concerts for a number of years. We are dedicating the annual fall festival to her, in homage to her hard work and enthusiasm. Voluntarily giving of their time and talents, our artists are also invested in this project. Representing more than eight different nationalities, the cultures and backgrounds of our artists will enrich our community with knowledge and entertainment. They will bring opportunities to our youth and help us develop the talents we have in the community. 

As a branch of Unity Lutheran Church of Berwyn, Project 88 is a non-profit organization that will produce three different programs: Into the Musical World: Concerts for Youth, True Unity Classical Concert Series, and Lucile Evans Music Festival. These events will serve as fundraisers for the development of these music programs and for the music institution. While it is obvious that this project is not solely focused on the material instrument itself, we humbly acknowledge that a new piano is necessary to achieve the goals of this endeavor. Our first fundraising goal is for the purchase of this piano, which we will use to host concerts, masterclasses, and future student performances. 

It is my privilege to announce this season on behalf of Project 88 and everyone who helped make this possible. We are honored with your presence and thank you for your support. 

Welcome to our inaugural concert season!

Élider DiPaula

Executive and Artistic Director