Northern Arizona University
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Helping Kids Through Music

Gary Allegretto

Founding Director of Harmonikids

1982 BS in Forestry


A 1982 graduate of Northern Arizona University, Gary Allegretto is considered "...one of the classiest acts in the music business today."* An accomplished blues musician, the self-taught Allegretto has performed on stages worldwide and his music has been featured in films and on television.

Allegretto is also the Founding Director of Harmonikids (http://www.harmonikids.org), a non-profit organization that provides music therapy to special needs children worldwide, from the Tsunami refugee camps of North Sumatra, Indonesia, to the Katrina evacuee trailer villages of Louisiana, and many places in between. The Harmonikids mission is to provide harmonicas to special needs children and teach them to play simple songs through gentle instruction. This provides both an educational and entertaining activity to children with tremendous physical and emotional challenges. Using a foolproof teaching method and the irresistible draw of the harmonica's size, portability, and voice-like tone, Gary has become a one-man philanthropic band. His gift helps children find relief from their situation in the pleasure of learning music.

Allegretto recently visited Houston's Texas Children's Hospital where a child died from the swine flu virus. Because of flu concerns, many programs for children there had been cancelled. Allegretto said, "When they asked if I wanted to cancel as well... of course I said no. We all had a great time and the kids were delighted with their new-found talent!"

Allegretto graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in forestry. He currently lives in California.

* -Robert Fontenot, Blues Revue, June/July 2008