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VMTA Play-a-Thon History and Highlights

Once every two years, VMTA sponsors a weekend of student performances open to any instrument or ensemble. This event is held at University Mall in Burlington. The first play-a-thon was held in 2011, and the event has been held bi-annually since 2012. VMTA's goal is for students to share their music to help other children and their families. Since 2011, the students of VMTA members have raised over $23,000 to donate to local charitable organizations. In recent years, the proceeds have been shared with Camp Ta-Kum-Ta, a Vermont camp for children with cancer (2011, 2012), the Children's Oncology Unit at University of Vermont Medical Center (2016, 2018, 2020, 2022) and the Ronald McDonald House in Burlington VT (2014, 2024).

This year, students raised funds to benefit the Ronald McDonald House in Burlington. The Ronald McDonald House provides the comforts of home to families while their children are receiving treatment at the University of VT Medical Center. The amount raised this year increased by over 80% since 2022. Performers played piano solo, piano duet, ukulele, and guitar pieces. Ninety nine students from nine studios played music for eleven hours! Participating teachers were Lesely Becker, Patty Bergeron, Ed Darling, Lisa Goodrich, Marie Johnson, Emily Mott, Holly Raiche, Lilly Ramsey, and Jina Smith. The event was co-chaired by Ed Darling and Patty Bergeron.

Thank you to Emily and Justin Rose of the Piano Gallery for providing a wonderful piano for the event and to Joshua and Michelle Merryfield of Northern Piano movers for getting it to us. The piano was purchased by a student family after the two-day event.

The next Play-a-Thon is planned for January 2026.


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