THE MENUHIN Foundation is marking its 25th anniversary in Bermuda with a series of fund raising events.

On Sunday, the foundation hosts a 5K Fun Run/Walk from Horseshoe Bay to Warwick Long Bay and back, starting at 3pm. The foundation is hoping to raise money to provide additional instruments for its students.

Melanie OâBrien, one of six full-time teachers with the Menuhin Foundation, said: ãMusic is a costly business and we are trying to make more instruments available for children coming out of the schoolsâ programme.ä

The organization provides tuition for stringed instruments to 300 children a week in nearly 30 schools around the island, including Somerset Primary, Paget Primary, Spice Valley Middle School, Sandys Middle School.

The schoolsâ programme provides one yearâs free tuition and introduces children to string playing. ãThe benefits of music help children in so many ways,ä Ms OâBrien said. ãPlaying an instrument requires focus, concentration and dedication. Children can further develop social skills by interacting with other children when playing music together. Above all, they get an introduction to music which lasts a lifetime.ä

The major expense in playing music is the instrument but the Menuhin Foundation is keen to assist. The long-term goal of the foundation is to have its own building; currently it uses a small office at Astwood Hall for staff meetings, photocopying and storing music. Bermuda High School For Girls is used by the foundation for its after school private programme and also its Saturday lessons.

ãWe would very much like a permanent home.ä Ms Oâ Brien said. ãIt would be absolutely marvellous to have our own teaching rooms and a big rehearsal room that could be used for orchestra rehearsal, workshops and so on.ä

World famous violinist Yehudi Menuhin established the Menuhin Foundation of Bermuda in 1976, the year after he played at the Bermuda Festival.

He saw a need to take string playing into the schools and the community as a whole. The virtuoso organized a fund raising concert, the monies from which helped provide the first funding for the foundation. ãMenuhin brought over the Heller String Quartet; they played frequent concerts, supported music making on the island, and started the Menuhin programme,ä Ms OâBrien said. ãSince then the organization has grown significantly and teaching is now the mainstay of our work here in Bermuda.ä

Further events in the year are planned, including a golf tournament at Riddellâs Bay in September. Anyone who would like to offer assistance or gain further information should call 295-4093.