The Upper Darby Arts and Education Foundation invites the public to its largest, annual outdoor event to raise funds for instruments and unique musical experiences for students in Upper Darby who may not otherwise have access
Drexel Hill, PA | May 12, 2022 The Upper Darby Arts and Education Foundation (UDAEF) invites the public to enjoy a day of family fun at the Brad Schoener Memorial 5K Run & 1 Mile Spirit Walk, followed by the MusicMan Festival on Saturday, May 21. The UDAEF’s largest, annual outdoor event offers something for everyone and raises funding for musical instruments, music lessons and summer music camp opportunities for children in Upper Darby Township who may not otherwise have access.
The event will take place in the picturesque Arlington Cemetery Field (behind the Toppitzer’s Funeral Home), easily accessible from State Road in Drexel Hill. The day kicks off at 8:30 am with the 5K Run and 1 Mile Spirit Walk, where families and children of all ages are encouraged to participate and enjoy the many surprises the event has in store, including a guest appearance by the Flyer’s zany mascot, Gritty! To register for the Run/Walk visit: udmusicman.udfoundation.org.
The walk and run are followed by a carnival-like festival at 12 noon. Look for the “Big Top” tent where there will be live music, plus food, artists and artisans, spring plants for sale, and the YMCA Kids’ Fun Zone under the willow trees surrounding the tent. The festival is free to the public. Free parking is available across State Road at Drexel Hill Middle School or across Shadeland Avenue at the Kindergarten Center.
Brad Schoener was a legendary music teacher in the Upper Darby School District who shared his passion for music with thousands of students. One of his students, Immanuel Wilkins, was recently awarded the Jazz Album of the Year by the New York Times. Schoener’s memory lives on in this annual 5K race and community music festival.
“Brad envisioned this day as a ‘carnival’ of energy, music, and family fun – and thanks to our incredibly supportive community partners – this event fuses it all together!” says Brad Schoener’s widow and founder of the Schoener MusicMan Academy, Jen Schoener. “Brad wanted to provide extraordinary music experiences for kids to show them that being active and artistic can create a healthy mind. He wanted to be remembered for his love of children and music – not his cancer. He would be thrilled that his dream is still going strong 13 years later.”
The MusicMan Festival and 5K Run/Walk run are made possible by generous community sponsors and partners including Greenhorn Gardens, Arlington Cemetery (Metro Philly’s Best Cemetery), Schaffer Sound, and Zeswitz Music.
Guest musical performers include the Mansfield Brass, Hiruy Tirfe, Josiah Marker, The John Hoey Orchestra, Ukes & You!”, Settlement Music School Jazz Trio, and the Summer Stage Shooting Stars. This year’s festival also includes an incredible showcase by Upper Darby’s own Drum Corps Memorabilia Museum which houses the world’s largest collection of marching band uniforms, instruments, banners and more!
This event is the primary fundraiser for the Schoener MusicMan Academy programs, which continue to grant Brad Schoener’s wishes to provide lessons, instruments, and unique music experiences to Upper Darby children. MusicMan Academy programs include the flagship MusicMan camp, the Jazz Jam! Camp, Stay in Shape summer music lessons, and year ‘round special needs creative arts programming (Butterfly Buddies) in partnership with the Royal Butterfly Fund. It is the vision of the Schoener MusicMan programs to bring music and joy to the community in an affordable and accessible way.
This year marks the MusicMan Camp’s tenth anniversary of top notch programming. The Brad Schoener Memorial Music Fund has proudly served thousands of children in the community since Brad’s passing in 2009. The Schoener MusicMan Academy is a program of the nonprofit Upper Darby Arts and Education Foundation, which has been serving the Upper Darby community for 24 years.
Director of Operations, Upper Darby Arts and Education Foundation