“Where Words Fail, Music Speaks.”
– Hans Christian Anderson

On September 30, 2017, Ryan A. McCutcheon, 19, was killed in an automobile accident while returning to his college campus after assisting high school drum students at a local band festival. The Rhythm19 Fund was established by his family through The Pittsburgh Foundation to keep his spirit alive through music.

Ryan was an accomplished percussionist, a dedicated instructor and a mentor to high school and college students. Following his graduation from North Allegheny, Ryan attended Robert Morris University. He remained active musically, marching with Nomad Indoor Drumline, advising the drum line for the Hampton High School Marching Band and playing drums with his friends in a college rock band. He was also an active drummer at The Vault Recording Studio in Pittsburgh where he frequently played and recorded.

Ryan was a bright, light-hearted, funny and loving soul. He loved playing music, working with kids and teaching others.

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Rhythm19Fund Group Photo
Group photo of the The Rhythm19 Fund team

The mission of The Rhythm19 Fund is to honor Ryan’s memory by providing access to art and music education for children and youth.

Through charitable contributions and volunteerism, we provide access to music for children and encourage the use of music to enrich the lives of those with challenges or special needs. The fund also strongly encourages the continuation of music programs for school children.

We, in conjunction with The Rhythm19Fund, were active in fundraising, providing financial support and volunteering our time. To date, the fundhas raised over $200,000. As a result, we have awarded several high school scholarships, supported a number of local area music programs with equipment and even helped fund trips to music competitions.

We also enjoyed hosting several high school and middle school field trips to The Vault.

Continued Support for Organizations/Music Programs include:

  • Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
  • Magee Womens Research Institute
  • Knoch School District
  • Nomad Indoor Percussion
  • North Allegheny School District
  • National Independent Venues Association (NIVA)/COVID Emergency Relief Fund
  • Slippery Rock University
  • Sto-Rox School District
  • The Neighborhood Academy
  • The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
  • The United Way of Southwestern PA/211 for Service Staff Workers
  • WQED

The Vault also hosted the legendary Smokey Robinson for two Rhythm19 fundraising events.