Roots & Wings
Taking Music Where It's Needed Most


Access to music education can change the course of a life, a neighborhood, and an entire community.  Roots & Wings is The Front Porch’s comprehensive music education program designed to build musicians from the inside out. We partner with organizations committed to serving people in challenging circumstances to offer group music classes and individualized musical experiences in locations throughout the community. Roots & Wings focuses on the importance of creating trusting relationships in order to open the creative musical potential of everyone.

See the impact

Outreach Teaching Artists

Lillie Williams, West African dancer

Lillie is a West African dance instructor with 20 years of experience. She is the director of Charlottesville’s Chihamba Dance Troupe.

Theo Herrin headshot

Theo Herrin, singer/songwriter, guitarist

Theo is a Charlottesville native who studied music at William and Mary. He returned to Charlottesville in 2020 to start teaching for The Front Porch and pursue a music career. 

Erynn Mcleod

Erynn McLeod, singer/songwriter, guitarist

Erynn is a singer-songwriter at the crossroads of folk and Broadway. She has a special talent for working with young children, and is currently writing and recording an original children’s album. 


headshot of teacher Joseph Nichols

Joseph Nichols, bassist, producer, teacher

Joseph is a jazz bass player/music producer with a bachelor’s degree in music from James Madison University. He currently performs, teaches, and freelances in Charlottesville and Harrisonburg, VA.

Mark Williams

Clara George, hospice musician, multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter

Clara moved from San Francisco to Charlottesville in 2020. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and has been singing with hospice and memory care patients since 2010.

Anna Weddington

Anna Weddington, violinist, cellist

Originally from Kentucky, Anna has been playing violin since age 3. She has taught orchestra in public schools, taught private lessons, and led an El Sistema-inspired community music program for kids.

see what other folks have to say:

 I’ve been working at Barrett Early Learning Center for 11 years now, and having Roots & Wings come in and do music with my kids has been an excellent way for them to express themselves using their gross motor skills and using their voices, learning about pitch and tone and rhythm. And we’ve been able to apply that in our classroom to other activities and find ways to keep kids moving and happy and excited about what they do. We have a kid who is not really vocal, but he likes to sing the Welcome Song. I feel like this has been a program that has reached all my kids, but some of them more specifically than others. We have nothing but the greatest appreciation for you all, thank you for everything you do and for spending time with us, and we hope to see you all again soon!!

Ayana Alexander (Barrett Early Learning Center, 2-Y.O. Class)

We are so very thankful for The Front Porch working with our threes and four [year olds]. They are very excited for you to come each week. We have seen a great improvement with their self confidence, their behavioral issues, and with children whose second language is English. We are also thankful for the bond and relationship and partnership that we have grown with The Front Porch, and we are so excited to have you back!

Jasmyne Johnson (Senior Director of the YMCA Early Learning Center)

“We are so grateful. Hometown choir brought our family together with families that we don’t always have the chance to get to know. We are so grateful for the beautiful music our kids learned and performed, as well as for the friendships we built and relationships we forged with people from different backgrounds and cultures.”
– Kristin Clarens (parent)

 I’m one of the Roots & Wings teachers in both the afterschool programs and the preschoolers in the mornings. The Roots & Wings program has been one of my absolute favorite parts of teaching music. For me, I love to see is when we are able to draw kids out of their shells. Some of the kids start the year not really wanting to participate, not really getting into the music. I’ve found that often, by the end those kids are the first ones who jump up and down, and who get really into the choreography. Seeing kids latch onto music in that way means a lot to me. It’s been a great pleasure working with Roots & Wings and I look forward to doing it again next year.

Theo Herrin (R&W Teacher)

Our Partners

ymca logo
Barrett Early Learning Center logo
Macaa Logo
ymca logo
head start logo
Barrett Early Learning Center logo



Performing Artists Hired

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221 Water St E
Charlottesville, VA 22902


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Right behind Bodos on Preston!

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