Starved Rock Country Community Foundation makes donation to Flutes for Vets of Central Illinois

New program aims to make impact with community groups

“This is a music therapy program. We try to help people deal with their PTSD or other mental health issues and as long as they play seriously, if they play every day or week, they’ll find the music affecting their brain and giving them a soothing calmness.”

—  Kenneth Troyan, founder of Flutes for Vets of Central Illinois

The Starved Rock Country Community Foundation is launching a new initiative to provide a grant to a different community group in the La Salle, Bureau, Putnam and neighboring county region four times per year.

As the first recipient, Flutes for Vets of Central Illinois received $1,500 from the foundation.

George Carizey, the president of the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation, said Flutes for Vets of Central Illinois is the first recipient of these community grants that organizations can apply for in January, April, July and October.

Kenneth Troyan founded Flutes for Vets of Central Illinois in May of last year after learning of a Tucson, Ariz. organization called Flutes for Vets run by Kathryn Twinfeathers, an American Woodwind flute player for more than 20 years.

“This is a music therapy program,” Troyan said. “We try to help people deal with their PTSD or other mental health issues and as long as they play seriously, if they play every day or week, they’ll find the music affecting their brain and giving them a soothing calmness.”

Troyan said the flute as a musical instrument is helpful to those who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other breathing problems, as it helps them work on breathing mechanisms and techniques that enlarge lung capacity.

Troyan showed off his collection of wooden flutes he has for people to practice. Veterans taking his course start on a plastic beginner flute, which is given to them for free to go with their 12 lessons.

The flutes Troyan uses are wooden and handmade by a man of Chillicothe named Randy Starnes, and each flute has something different about it. The larger flutes produce a deeper baritone sound while the smaller flutes, what Troyan called a piccolo flute, create a higher pitched noise.

He even showed off a flute that has two airways, one that makes a constant stream of noise on one side while the other shifts pitch by adjusting the fingering over the holes.

Everything Troyan does with Flutes for Vets of Central Illinois is free, although it runs from donations. Without donations, Troyan said, he can’t keep this program going.

Donations can be sent to Flutes for Vets of Central Illinois, 3433 E. 1550th St, McNabb, IL, 61335.

Flutes for Vets of Central Illinois also has a Facebook page that goes by the same name where people can donate. Veterans interested in attending these classes can contact Troyan at kennethtroyan@gmail.com.

As for the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation, it accepts donations through its website, srccf.org. It also has a Facebook page that goes by the organization’s name.