NORFOLK, Va. — Music is his means and reaching kids is his mission.
Dr. Anthony Hailey started Mosaic Steel Orchestra in 2006, hoping to connect local youth with his passion for steelpan, more popularly known as steel drums.
“I saw a need in the community for children to have access to music programs that were relevant and accessible to them,” said Hailey.
He now has a new plot of land across from the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk to grow the non-profit along with a stage to share his mission with all of Hampton Roads.
Hailey has taught steel drums and percussion in Hampton Roads for decades, and his non-profit puts the soothing sound of the Caribbean on full display thanks to an ensemble of local kids, many of who come from low-income neighborhoods.
“Music was one of the things that helped me overcome a lot of challenges in my youth,” said Hailey.
The youth programs are free to students, but that doesn’t mean quality is sacrificed. Hailey has a doctorate in percussion and is a master of the steel drum. The challenge, he says, is getting people to realize this amazing resource and opportunity is available.
“The fulfillment comes when I see people enjoying the steelpan,” said Hailey. “People knowing about this and coming out and volunteering is so important.”