'Saving lives with music': Asbury Park Music Foundation names executive director

Karen Geer, the former head of the Interschool Orchestras of New York and the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, has been named the executive director of Asbury Park Music Foundation.

“I’m excited to be the first executive director of the Asbury Park Music Foundation and look forward to leading such a vibrant music education and performance organization,” said Geer in a statement. “As a performer and educator, the mission of saving lives with music is close to my heart.”

The APMF's “Music Saved My Life” music education initiative serves kids in Asbury Park and the surrounding area, too. APMF was formed after the city was selected as the first host city of the Smithsonian Institute’s traveling musical heritage exhibit “New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music” in 2011. The group has played a key role in integrating Asbury Park's music scene with the greater community.

Karen Geer is the new executive director of the Asbury Park Music Foundation.
Karen Geer is the new executive director of the Asbury Park Music Foundation.

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“We are thrilled that our first executive director will bring her considerable skills and passions to guide the Asbury Park Music Foundation,” said Tom Donovan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the APMF, in a statement. “The foundation has seen the need for exponential growth to succeed in our mission to serve Asbury Park’s under-resourced youth and preserve the rich legacy of music in our town. We are confident that Karen is the person to help us realize it.”

Geer also served as Interim Executive Director of the Opus 118 Harlem School of Music, which gained fame in the movie “Music of the Heart,” starring Meryl Streep.

The APMF's Music Saved My Life programming has served children in the Asbury Park area since 2014, and has offered kids opportunities to participate in music programs in public, private and charter schools, and in after-school programs at places like Lakehouse Music Academy and the Boys and Girls Clubs.

The group also curates the annual Music Mondays series at the city's Springwood Park, bringing live music back to an area of the city with a rich cultural history.

The foundation's fundraising T-shirts, which state “Music Saved Asbury Park,” are ubiquitous in the area.

Visit www.asburyparkmusiclives.org for more information.

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Chris Jordan, a Jersey Shore native, covers entertainment and features for the USA Today Network New Jersey. Contact him at @chrisfhjordan; cjordan@app.com

This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Asbury Park Music Foundation names Karen Geer executive director