Courtesy of Music Haven

On April 5, Music Haven — a tuition-free music institution that provides musical instruments and lessons for students in New Haven — was recognized with $5,000 by the Adolf Busch Award. Music Haven shared this year’s top award with David’s Harp Foundation in San Diego, California.

The Adolf Busch Award recognizes organizations that use music to promote the social good and enhance socioeconomic opportunities by supporting education and mentorship efforts. The award is named after Adolf Busch, a German violinist and composer of the early 20th century. Busch is known for being among the first prominent public figures who denounced Hitler and his actions, which was rare for non-Jews at the time. This year, the award received over 100 applicants, the most in its history.

“What made Music Haven stand out to me is that they have a clear philosophy on participation and learning,” said Justin Lipton, senior associate of the Adolf Busch Award. “They are extremely rigorous on setting expectations and actually holding their students and those students’ families’ expectations over time, and it shows in all the impact they have on their students.”

According to Seth Novatt, founder of the Adolf Busch Award, the majority of the applicants were organizations similar to Music Haven, such as orchestras or organizations that work with underprivileged communities. Novatt also noted that the award received more applications from organizations that work with incarcerated individuals than in previous years.

To make the decision, two committee members initially read all applications and narrow them down to 25 selections. Following this, the award’s advisory board — which comprises nine individuals with careers in law, marketing and music — selects five applicants. This board includes Busch’s great-grandson, composer David Ludwig.

These five organizations then have Zoom interviews with Award members.

“Music Haven made a fantastic presentation,” Novatt said. “They are really professional and believe very strongly in what they are doing.” Novatt also noted that it was “nice to know” that Music Haven has been active since its formation in 2006, which increased his confidence about awarding an organization that was going to continue its services.

According to Lygia Davenport, the development associate of Music Haven, the team that partook in the Zoom interview was diverse and representative of the organization. It included a parent, an alumni member, a teacher and administrative staff.

“I think that they were impressed with the cohesiveness and lifelong partnership that Music Haven adds value to the families,” Davenport said. “We strive for equity and we strive to meet the needs of all of our students. Music Haven is very community-oriented, and it really works on building an individual and helping them in ways that are beyond just music.”

Music Haven is located at 315 Peck St.

Gamze covers arts in the city news and writes for the WKND. She is a first year in Pauli Murray majoring in psychology and humanities