Co-directors of an after-school music program dedicated to transforming lives of socially and economically challenged children in Sioux Falls spoke about the goals and impact of the non-profit organization at the Rotary Club of Downtown Sioux Falls meeting, Monday, December 5. Composer/conductor Dan Goeller and music performer/educator Heidi Goeller founded Harmony South Dakota nearly three years ago.  In support of their mission, Rotary presented a $12,000 grant to Harmony South Dakota to help underwrite the cost of concerts and the purchase of instruments.

Program Highlights:
  • Harmony's mission is social transformation through music.  The concept was started 40 years ago, in Venezuela.  The program teaches children how to work together, how to belong to a community, how to set and achieve goals, self-discipline, how to control emotions, how to cooperate.
  • Harmony started at Hawthorne School and now is located at St. Joseph's School, where they meet each day at 2:45pm.  They have 45 students from the SF middle schools; the children are from 15 different countries
  • The instruments are all strings.  There are no auditions.
  • A typical day:  Feed the kids; Movement Class; Percussion Class; Musicianship Class; Choir, 3 days a week; Recess; Orchestra; Private Lessons; Homework Time; Making Friends.  
Meeting attendance December 5th, 2016
  • Meeting attendance was 70 out of 301 or 23%
  • 43 out of 70 members in attendance were Paul Harris Fellows or 61%
  • Also, present at the meetings were:  2 Visiting Rotarians; 14 Guests
Next Week’s Program:
Marty Jackley, SD Attorney General—Beating Addiction in SD/No Meth Ever Campaign; Controversial Ballot Issues