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Local Not-for-Profit Finalist for Area Music Award


You can help one Cayuga County area nonprofit win regional recognition

Perform 4 Purpose is looking to win its first Syracuse Area Music Award (SAMMY). The group has made it to the final round in the Local Academic or Musical Organization category and now faces off against Liverpool High School’s Marching band.

Jim Van Arsdale is the group’s program director. He told Finger Lakes News Radio that it’s an honor for his students to make it to this stage, especially the seniors in the program who started learning remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I would like to commend our seniors who are in this group,” said Van Arsdale. “They were freshmen when COVID hit. These were the kids who learned remotely; I taught them over Zoom.”

Despite beginning with Perform 4 Purpose during the pandemic, the group was able to hold porch concerts and virtual sessions to raise money for local food pantries.

Perform 4 Purpose’s seniors. (Courtesy of Jim Van Arsdale)

Van Arsdale pointed out that, if they win, this will be the nonprofit’s first SAMMY. Perform 4 Purpose has been a runner-up twice before.

“They’re really excited,” he continued. “They work so hard with what they do.”

Created in 2011, Perform 4 Purpose provides tuition-free music instruction, workshops, and performances throughout the year for local youth in Cayuga and neighboring counties. While most students come from Cayuga County, others have joined from Tompkins and Onondaga Counties.

Voting is open now until Sunday and can be done once per day. You can vote for Perform 4 Purpose at syracuseareamusic.com.

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