By Felicia L. Niven
The students filed in quietly, taking it all in as they entered the enormous performance space. Their eyes darted here and there, and in hushed whispers, they shared their excitement with their friends. Once settled in their chairs, the chatter began. For some students, it was their first time on a college campus. For most, it was their first experience seeing a symphony perform live.
The lights dimmed, the spotlight appeared, and the maestro stepped onto the stage. It was the start of a magical performance by the Bay Atlantic Symphony at Stockton University. This is what the Schultz-Hill Foundation makes possible, sharing and advancing the gift of music, art, and history, not only with students, but with seniors, educators, nonprofits, and the residents of Atlantic County.
“We have been fortunate to be a grant recipient since 2019, and it’s been truly inspiring for our students,” said Sara Caporilli, Chief Operating Officer, Principle Academy Charter (PAC) School. PAC is a K-6 public charter school, with students from a number of different sending districts, including Pleasantville, Atlantic City, Egg Harbor Twp., Galloway, Somers Point, and Absecon. Students often come from economically disadvantaged families. “At PAC, we focus on core values, getting the kid's college and career ready, and helping them grow into responsible world citizens,” said Caporilli. “Our school is committed to a purpose-driven arts and music curriculum, and we truly appreciate the chance for our students to step away from campus to experience a bigger picture.”
This year, the PAC students will join those from Highland Academy in Absecon in an Atlantic City Experience, courtesy of the Schultz-Hill Foundation and the Historic Organ Restoration Committee, Inc. The students will receive a private tour of The Atlantic City Experience Museum. They will walk behind the world’s largest pipe organ with organist Brett Miller, and participate in a Q&A with the artist and restoration team. Finally, they will enjoy a private concert featuring the organ, followed by lunch in the arena of Boardwalk Hall.
“So many of our kids come from the Atlantic City area but probably have never been inside of Boardwalk Hall,” said Caporilli. “We’ve been so fortunate to have our students participate in these programs, thanks to the Schultz-Hill Foundation.”
Students are just one focus of the Foundation, which also funds the Senior Music Series and the Mighty Writers Program. In fact, Schultz-Hill has a deep and broad influence throughout Atlantic County, with its DINA grants funding programs like MudGirls Studios Empowering Women, Atlantic City Arts Foundation Chalk About AC, and Seashore Gardens’ Music & Memories and Opening Minds through Art, among others.
The Schultz-Hill Foundation organizes one annual benefit concert to make this possible. It is the primary fundraiser to support a year of arts outreach programming.
Abbacadabra, The Ultimate ABBA Tribute
This year, the Schultz-Hill Foundation welcomes Abbacadabra, the Ultimate Abba Tribute on Friday, July 28 at 8:30 pm at the Superstar Theater at Resorts Casino Hotel. Flashback to the bedazzled 70s with pop and disco hits Dancing Queen, Mamma Mia, and many others as the Foundation salutes one of the most captivating pop bands in the world. Wondrous vocals, fantastical costumes, and captivating choreography all help to recreate the fascinating disco days of yesteryear.
Resorts Casino Hotel is a presenting sponsor of the event. Limited $175-per-person VIP tickets include VIP Seating and a tax-deductible post-show “meet and greet” VIP Dessert & Champagne Disco Party with Abbacadabra, and may be purchased online at www.schultz-hill.org. General admission seating tickets are $35; preferred seating tickets are $50. Both are available through Ticketmaster or at the Resorts box office.
The Foundation is a (501c-3) tax-deductible charity in Atlantic City. For more information on the Schultz-Hill Foundation and its programs, including tickets for the benefit concert, visit www.schultz-hill.org.