Nonprofit in Fort Bend County Transforms Lives Through Music Access for All

Nonprofit in Fort Bend County Transforms Lives Through Music Access for All

December 12 2023

In Fort Bend County, an organization founded by a professional musician is on mission to share the joy and positive impact of music making with local youth, one instrument at a time. Rooted in a passion for music making that transcends all barriers for the younger generation, Vel Lewis is bridging the access gap for students across the county through Faith 2 Form, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing music education and opportunities to local youth.

Students engaging in a presentation during the 2023 F2F Music Summer Camp. (Source: F2F)

As an adolescent, Lewis took up an instrument at his mother’s insistence, opening a world of imagination, creativity and passion for music making. Then along his musical journey, while playing in a band as a teen, his band manager ensured that he and his bandmates received brand new instruments, a gesture so impressive that Lewis was inspired – and determined – to extend the same kindness to other young musicians during his lifetime.

That simple act of kindness left an indelible mark on Lewis throughout his illustrious career as a prominent recording artist and professional Hammond Organist, paving the way for the formation of Faith 2 Form. The opportunity to make his dream of reciprocation a reality finally presented itself in 2009, thanks to a couple of unrelated, chance meetings that led to the formation of a summer music camp and a three-month program that introduced music instruments to elementary students. At the end of the program, the students performed for parents in the school cafeteria, followed by a brief conversation that made Lewis more determined than ever to pursue his passion for music access to all.

“A set of triplet girls - second graders who were in the program - came up to me and asked simultaneously, ‘Mr. Lewis, do we need to give the instruments back?’ Hearing this and seeing the look on their faces broke my heart. I knew then that I needed to do something to help kids like these,” said Lewis.

Inspired, resolute, and well-connected to a network of other professional musicians and supporters, Lewis established Faith 2 Form to bring opportunity and hope to disadvantaged youth through music. His nonprofit has since opened doors for potential career paths within and alongside the diverse and multifaceted music industry, including local students like Ian Cannon, a promising pianist whose aspirations of playing professionally were nearly missed due to financial barriers.

In 2021, Lewis was approached by the assistant band director of Dulles High School to mentor their Jazz Ensemble, where he encountered Cannon. Intrigued by Cannon's aspiration to attend a music conservatory, Lewis leveraged his connections in Italy to arrange meetings with accomplished maestros. After a successful visit and auditions, Cannon secured sponsorship from the maestros and ranked fourth in the entrance exam at the Conservatory of Perugia, Italy. Today, he's not just dreaming about music - he's living it, standing as a testament to grit, perseverance, and the positive influence of music.

Ian Cannon, left, performing the world premier of "Floating Clouds" by Manuel Marocchi at the Conservatory "Francesco Morlacchi", winning first prize in the Musica Elettronica division of the Premio Nazionale delle Arti.

Music, as Lewis and many experts concur, brings untold benefits. It doesn't just soothe the soul; it enhances mental and emotional health. Music therapy has aided individuals grappling with anxiety, depression, autism, dementia, and other mental health ailments. But its power extends beyond therapy. It touches every arena of life - academic, emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical.

“I have personally seen elementary and middle school aged children improve their behavior from being sad and stressed for various reasons, to being happy, jovial, and peaceful by introducing them to music. This is also why young people (Gen Z and Millennials) are the largest consumers of digital music according to data from Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Statista,” said Lewis.

Despite its incredible potential, access to music education can be restricted due to socioeconomic constraints. Because of their cost, instruments might be a luxury for many, and using borrowed ones can hamper progress. Even with access, the lack of parental awareness about potential careers in the music industry may discourage a child's musical inclination.

Sectional beginners with Nellie Doty, an F2F Board Member and prolific music therapist, at the 2023 F2F Music Summer Camp. (Source: F2F)

Faith 2 Form steps into this gap with various forms of aid. In partnership with school districts like Fort Bend ISD, Lamar CISD, and Stafford MSD, the organization identifies students in need of support. Through local and federal grants, individual and business donations, the organization funds programs that make dreams a reality for many young musicians, like the Instrument Fund Program, which provides brand-new instruments to students.

They also conduct clinics and workshops to develop performance techniques and build confidence, as well as Music Summer Camps that provide learning opportunities from professional instructors and recording artists. Currently, Faith 2 Form is preparing to launch Music Festival and Concerts, a program that promises to showcase school bands and orchestras while providing them with an opportunity to shine on stage, with sponsorship opportunities available.

F2F Instrument Fund Award recipient Jace Garza, left, with Vel Lewis, right, at the 2023 F2F Music Summer Camp. (Source: F2F)
Recognizing the power of music to transform lives, Faith 2 Form aspires to make music education accessible to every youth. Through different programs, they provide not just instruments and training, but hope, confidence, and the chance for every child to find their own beat - their own rhythm in life. To learn more about Faith 2 Form’s mission and to be a part of their growing movement to ensure music access for all, visit

By Tiffany Krenek, My Neighborhood News 
Tiffany Krenek has been on the My Neighborhood News team since August 2021. She is passionate about curating and sharing content that enriches the lives of our readers in a personal, meaningful way. A loving mother and wife, Tiffany and her family live in the West Houston/Cypress region.


Subscribe to Your


Stay current on local news and events with periodic emails sent straight to you!

Change Neighborhood

Select Your Region/Community