A Tribute to Kathleen Mylecraine and Rhonda Harrell
On December 21 and 22, 2023, we lost two wonderful people who touched the lives of so many people. Kathleen Mylecraine served for several years as Cleveland Classical Guitar Society’s Board President, and Rhonda Harrell was a longtime partner teacher of ours.
Kathleen served on the board during an important early phase, when the Education Program began, and hosted the first benefit event to get it started. She became President of the board when Erik Mann became the first Executive Director, sharing leadership of the organization. She also performed on and taught the flute, her main instrument, and for a time she studied classical guitar and harp.
Rhonda Harrell was CCGS’s longest running partner teacher, as the music teacher at Luis Muñoz Marín Elementary School. There she taught hundreds of students every week, and inspired thousands of youth over the years. She also served as Assistant Pastor and Youth Pastor at the Pentecostal Church of Christ in Cleveland.
CCGS’s Executive Director Erik Mann offered these words: “Kathleen was part of a small group working to help start the Education Program when it was still a crazy idea by a tiny organization. She knew that we could do this, even as others thought it to be impossible. Her belief in other people was magical; in fact she often believed in me more than I believed in myself. Rhonda, meanwhile, was perhaps the first partner teacher who showed me how we could create a great program that benefited everyone. For her, it was not just about the music, but about inspiring kids to become the best versions of themselves. Both made a decision to live their best lives in spite of decades of health challenges, and to work for a better world. Rhonda and Kathleen, you will be missed.”