The Harold and Lorraine Hoffman Scholarship Fund

By The Children's Theatre
Mr. and Mrs. Hoffman

Lifelong Love of the Arts Honored with a Legacy Gift Providing Class Scholarships

Lorraine Hoffman grew up in New York City in the 30s and 40s, surrounded by original Broadway runs of Oklahoma! and Porgy and Bess, but with no money for a dress to wear to the theatre, let alone a ticket. Despite this, her love of Broadway lasted her entire life. After marrying Harold and saving all of their money to buy a house and provide for her children, Lorraine eventually had the means to attend several Broadway shows every year. She then passed on her love of theatre, singing excerpts from La Cage and Guys and Dolls to her great-grandkids and playing VHS tapes of Fiddler on the Roof and Grease on a seemingly endless loop.

Harold Hoffman grew up dreaming of leading a big band like Tommy Dorsey or Glenn Miller. As a young man on leave from the Navy, he got a taste of his dream in a contest to conduct a real big band. This passion temporarily took a backseat as he started his own successful HVAC company. But upon retirement, Harold finally realized his dream. Starting with just a handful of musicians in his basement, he became the leader of his own 19-piece big band: The Hal Hoffman Orchestra. His orchestra would become one of the most popular bands for weddings and events on Long Island, NY, as well as the official band of the local jazz and swing radio station.

Grandson Brian Hoffman and his wife Daniella now live in Cincinnati. We recently chatted with Brian, and he said: “Because my grandparents grew up with little means and a lifelong love of the arts, they were always quick to help out with money for dance lessons, instruments, or tickets to a Broadway show. When I only had a small keyboard to play at my house, they bought me my first real piano. This one small opportunity put me on a path that ended with a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and a happy career in music and theatre.”

Harold and Lorraine believed that an education in the arts follows a child throughout their entire life. The study of music and theatre teaches life lessons, provides a hobby or passion, and can even launch a career. Because of this, they knew that a little help to allow a child to do something extra can make an enduring impact. Brian further shared, “The Harold and Lorraine Hoffman Scholarship Fund is a loving tribute to my grandparents, who were always there with a few dollars to help their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren do a little something extra. Following their legacy, we hope that this scholarship gives the next generation of young artists that same opportunity. “

Angelo Cerniglia, TCT Education Director, is delighted with this new opportunity to welcome more students to the TCT Academy.  “Access to performing arts classes for students who want to discover or grow their artistic abilities is a major focus at TCT, and we can’t wait to witness the spark and delight made possible by this scholarship.  I am thankful that Harold and Lorraine pursued their artistic interests and provided great inspiration to their family and friends!”    

The Harold and Lorraine Hoffman Scholarship Fund provides partial scholarships for students interested in classes at TCT Academy.  Upon class registration, students may complete an application (https://thechildrenstheatre.com/tct-scholarship-application/) for scholarship consideration. 

Annually, one scholarship will be awarded in the fall, and one in the spring.  Scholarship award preference will be given to those with demonstrated confirmation of need.