Bequest will support music education

March 7, 2022
Photo of Jazz Band performing on campus

A major bequest to Fitchburg State University will support music education and help prospective music teachers pursue their professional and artistic goals.

The Helen E. Hornsey Music Education fund will benefit all aspects of music education at Fitchburg State, including individual and community lessons and music education that develops excellence in teaching and creative practice among teachers and community workers in the discipline of music.

Helen Hornsey died on April 30, 2021 at the age of 106. Born in Brookline in 1914, Hornsey had a lifelong love of music. She studied at the Juilliard Music School in New York City and was an avid singer and pianist. She was also devoted to helping others and reached the rank of lieutenant colonel with the Salvation Army in her adopted community of Fitchburg.

The Hornsey Music Education Fund was created to ensure private instruction is available for students, faculty, alumni and community members, and tomorrow’s music teachers have expansive knowledge with which to guide their students.

The fund will provide support for music lessons for promising band members and tuition assistance to students participating in the music education concentration.

The fund will offset costs for performances on campus and help students to:

  • Develop advanced skills in teaching, particularly in the areas of pedagogical practice, music technologies, and performance;
  • Enhance content knowledge in the student’s field of licensure; and
  • Obtain skills and certification necessary to seek a student's professional licensure through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

“We are honored and gratified to accept this generous gift from the Hornsey estate, and know it will have a positive impact on generations of music students,” Fitchburg State President Richard S. Lapidus said. “Her gift will endure and support music education for years to come.”

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