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The Arts Paper december 2014

Founder Bidding Farewell to Music Haven tina and netta hadari stepping down david brensilver photos by kathleen cei

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he May 2010 issue of The Arts Paper included an article about Music Haven that read, in part: “(Tina Lee) Hadari, who founded Music Haven in 2006, earned her bachelor of music degree from New England Conservatory, her master of music degree from the Yale School of Music, and her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado. Along the way, she spent three years working with Opus 118 Harlem School of Music – the subject of the 1995 documentary Small Wonders and the inspiration for the 1999 movie Music of the Heart starring Meryl Streep – an organization that provides musical instruction to Harlem students. ‘That really shaped kind of how I … viewed perhaps what I was going to do with my future and kind of the intersection of music and service,’ Hadari said.” Having announced that she and her husband, Netta Hadari, the organization’s development director, who studied violin at Southern Methodist University and at the Yale School of Music, will leave Music Haven on June 30, 2015, Tina said in October, “We just felt like it’s time for the next chapter of our lives.” For the balance of a decade, under her leadership, Music Haven has provided free instrumental lessons to residents of the city’s four Empowerment Zones and students who attend schools in those neighborhoods. That won’t change, but the faces of the organization will. “The organization is in a great place,” Tina said, praising her colleagues and the organization’s board — the strongest one she’s experienced. In making their decision to step down, she and Netta wanted to make sure the organization was on solid ground. She got to observe Music Haven operate without her in September and early October, when she was on maternity leave. The couple has two daughters, Talya, 4, and Emma, who was 6 weeks old at press time. Tina and Netta started planning their departure from the organization in May and June, at the end of the last fiscal year. Leaving what they’ve created over nearly 10 years is “very difficult,” Tina said, particularly because of the relationships they’ve built with young people and their families. “Community development happens one relationship at a time,” she said. Still, the relationships Tina’s most looking forward to developing at this point are with her daughters. And maintaining a balance between work and family life has been difficult. She stepped down at the end of 2013 from her position as a violinist with the Haven String Quartet — the musicians who, along with pianist Miki Sawada, make up Music Haven’s faculty — to more fully fulfill role as executive director. The current makeup of the quartet is violinists Yaira Matyakubova and Gregory Tompkins, violist Colin Benn, and cellist Philip Boulanger.

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Tina Hadari

What’s next for Tina and Netta? “An adventure,” she said, laughing. “We’re both really committed to working to make some impact in whatever community we end up in,” Netta said. He’s pursuing an MBA at the University of Connecticut and hopes to finish the degree program this summer. A search committee of five board members and a consultant has been organized and a national search is underway to find the best candidates to succeed Tina and Netta as executive director and development director, respectively. The plan, Netta said, is to hire new people in time for there to be some overlap, before he and Tina leave at the end of June. “We’ll miss the students and their families and our colleagues,” Netta said, encouraging people to continue supporting Music Haven. n Visit musichavenct.org to learn more about the organization.

Netta Hadari

“The organization is in a great place.” – Tina Lee Hadari “We’re both really committed to working to make some impact in whatever community we end up in.” – Netta Hadari december 2014  •


The Arts Paper - December 2014