PITTSFIELD — The Kids 4 Harmony music program run by a Pittsfield nonprofit will be able to expand its scholarships thanks to a gift from the Mockingbird Foundation

Mockingbird Foundation logo

The foundation, run by fans of the Vermont band Phish, provides money to support music education for children. In its latest grant round, the group, awarded $10,000 to the Kids 4 Harmony program run by 18 Degrees, formerly Berkshire Children and Families.

The Pittsfield program was chosen out of 983 groups that sought funding. Sixteen grants were awarded nationally in this 25th round of funding, the foundation said. The latest grants are worth $111,771.

"We are excited to be mailing them an announcement letter and grant agreement today," Ellis Godard, the foundation's executive director, said in a press release late last week. 

"We continue to be amazed by the vast need for music education funding, and impressed by the dedication of people who work diligently to help fill those needs," Godard said. "We were particularly impressed with the request submitted by 18 Degrees."

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In a July 2019 interview with The Eagle, the group's artistic director said the program provides children, teens and families with access to musical opportunities and resources, including instruction, instruments and transportation. Since its launch in Pittsfield in 2011, Kids 4 Harmony has expanded to North Adams. 

The foundation is run by volunteers who share a love of the band Phish. 

To date, the group has given more than $1.7 million to underwrite music education. The new grants were backed in part by Phish’s WaterWheel Foundation, and by the Kristy Anastasio Manning Memorial Fund.

To learn more about the Mockingbird Foundation, and support its work, visit www.mbird.org. The group has no paid staff or office space, it says, enabling it to distribute "all possible funds" to the charities and projects it supports. 

The foundation takes its name from one of the band's most famous songs. 

Larry Parnass can be reached at lparnass@berkshireeagle.com and 413-588-8341.

Investigations editor

Larry Parnass, investigations editor, joined The Eagle in 2016 from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, where he was editor in chief. His freelance work has appeared in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Hartford Courant and CommonWealth Magazine.