Charity Advocates Presents $30,000 Donation for Strings Virgin Islands Youth Orchestra

Jacob Mills on drum (Submitted photo)

Thriving Charity Advocates LLC (TCA), an EDC beneficiary on St. Thomas, recently visited one of the weekly practice sessions of the Partners for Strings Virgin Islands Youth Orchestra to present a generous donation of $30,000.   Thriving Charity Advocates is led by award-winning music producers Wesley Campbell and David Wagner.

Wesley Campell stated in his letter to Partners for Strings, “I understand the value of the next generation of musicians and supporting their creativity.”  Partners for Strings Inc. (PFS), a 501(c)(3) organization based in the U.S. Virgin Islands, runs the youth orchestra program.  The community partnership between Thriving Charity Advocates and Partners for Strings will ensure that the youth orchestra continues to provide a free after-school music program for ages 6 to 17 on St. Thomas and St. Croix.

Ariel Colston on violin (Submitted photo)

The youth orchestra members sat eagerly with their instruments, as Lauryl Knowles, compliance director for TCA, spoke and gave a PowerPoint presentation about the worldwide organization’s dedication to “charity.”  Knowles said, “TCA impacts the forgotten, marginalized and poor by connecting artists, tours and live events with humanitarian organizations to leverage the stage and empower audiences to raise the funds necessary to change lives in a tangible way.”

The donation was presented by Lauryl Knowles and Marjorie Roberts, founding attorney for Marjorie Rawls Roberts PC Attorneys at Law.  Also attending was Kristine Galgay, TCA’s contract specialist.  The PFS Board of Directors — Gloria Gumbs, James H. Gumbs Jr. and Priscilla Lynn — accepted the donation.

Zaiden Norman on trumpet (Submitted photo)

PFS president, Gloria Gumbs, who presented TCA with a customized U.S. Virgin Islands award of gratitude, said, “On behalf of the board of directors, parents and members, we are so grateful and honored to have a partnership with TCA.  Our partnership is granting us the opportunity to inspire and transform the lives of Virgin Islands young people through music.  We appreciate all our partners who have helped us to become an established youth orchestra, including our national Alliance Partner, Miami Music Project, located in Miami-Dade County.  As well as our local partners:  G-Clef Music Academy, the Virgin Islands Council on the Arts, the VI Housing Authority, MSI Building Supplies and Street Level VI.  We welcome more community partners to join in this mission to reach the at-risk and underserved youth in our islands.”

The Partners for Strings Virgin Islands Youth Orchestra teaches members how to play the violin, cello, flute, saxophone, trumpet, clarinet, steel pan, drums and other percussion instruments.  The free weekly orchestra sessions are held on St. Thomas on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at G-Clef Music Academy in Mandela Circle.  The St. Croix sessions will be held on Saturdays at noon to 2 p.m. at G-Clef Music Academy in the Sunny Isle Shopping Center, beginning Nov. 4.

In preparation for their upcoming Christmas Concert, the Partners for Strings Virgin Islands Youth Orchestra played, “Christmas Mash-Up” for the TCA representatives.  It gave them a taste of how much the young members have grown in their musicianship.  The theme for this year’s Christmas Concert is “Blow the Trumpet: Peace and Joy Have Come to Earth.”

The mid-week Christmas Concert will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 8 at the St. Thomas Assembly of God Church, 133 Contant (near the Word of Faith/Former Old Mill). The public is welcome— admission is free.  The concert starts at 7 p.m. and the doors open at 6 p.m.  The concert will be taped to air on WTJX-TV as a Christmas Day special.

For more information about the youth orchestra, how to join and/or Christmas Concert details, visit or call 228-1126.