SHU alum uses music to make impact in community

After you graduate college, you will find yourself thinking:  Where do I go from here? Jim Gaven, a 2006 Seton Hall graduate, decided to make a difference through music. As a music coordinator/director at Allies, Inc., a nonprofit organization, he is able to build the Hamilton Community of Individuals with Developmental and Physical Disabilities.

In a previous article, Gaven said the music program at Allies is vital for the self-expression of the disabled. According to Gaven, come July 1, the Allies music nights which would have been held in the main office, will be held in the community.

“This change is for the better of everyone involved, since individuals with developmental and physical disabilities will have an even better quality of life with being integrated more into the community,” Gaven said in an email interview.

He stated that the format of the night will be different, including a new featured artist who will provide interviews, music videos and live performances. The first of the ‘Summer Concert Series’ will be held on July 16 at 6 p.m. at the German American Club in Hamilton.

Additionally, percussion instruments will be passed out to everyone if they so desire to play . A sign-up list for individual who want to come up to perform with the band either on vocals or percussion, will be made available at the front when you walk in, said Gaven.

“The idea is to turn it into a fun, interactive, and, at the same time, educational experience for everyone,” Gaven said. “At the very end of the night, everyone will walk away with an informational sheet about the artist and a ’10 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About’ sheet.”

Gaven began creating and implementing comprehensive music programs spanning across the state of New Jersey catering to individuals with these disabilities in 2010.

“It is very rewarding work and I am bless to be able to use the gift of music to make a difference in people’s lives,” he said.

Besides the music nights, Gaven has set up a fundraiser to raise money for the music program at Allies, in order to get new instruments and upkeep for the older ones. All the proceeds go directly back to the organization in order to sustain the music program.

Rebecca White can be reached at

Author: Rebecca White

Rebecca White is from Orange County, California and is a senior majoring in Communication. She started out as the Pirate Life Copy Editor her sophomore year, worked her way up to Assistant Pirate Life Editor her junior year, and enters her senior year as Pirate Life Editor. She has been on the Dean’s List every semester and will graduate a semester early in December 2016. During her time at Seton Hall she has interned for CNBC and, an entertainment site where she coordinates the celebrity interviews. She aspires to be a novelist while working in the publishing industry, either as a book editor or magazine editor.

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