My name is Pam Howland, and I have been involved with Tinderbox over many years, through its many incarnations.   Although in this nearly-30 years, I have  had moves away from Winston-Salem, to High Point, Durham, and Poland, I have always found my way back “home.” 

I am a concert pianist, Steinway Artist, former Wake Forest University Music professor, and Fulbright professor in Poznan, Poland in 2017-18, wife, mother, and also very importantly a member of Tinderbox Fitness for Women. I am so grateful for this gym!!  


 I want to sing the praises of the incredible women who understand the “power of one” – and have always understood that this gathering place is about more than just getting fit.  There is an important chronology to the evolution of what has become TINDERBOX FITNESS.  I joined in about 1991/92 what was then called LADIES WORKOUT EXPRESS, (farther down the road on Jonestown.) Shortly thereafter, Helen came on the scene and quickly changed the name and concept – and WOMEN’S WELLNESS was born

With a subsequent move to Hanes Mall Boulevard in 1996, a 2nd location was opened at Reynolda Manor in 1998, called FITNESS FOR HER.  WOMEN’S WELLNESS, moved to the current location in 2003, and became TINDERBOX FITNESS in 2018, thanks to Laura Miller.  These people are terrific examples of women with vision who set about making it happen! 

I am... grateful for all of the thousands of women and dedicated teachers who have.... formed a strong community of support, caring, and love for each other.


Why all the history?  It is to honor this legacy.  I am so very grateful for Helen’s leadership in creating a space to empower women, and to support our ongoing quest to become strong and healthy, and to form community.  I am equally grateful to Laura for carefully tending this project and for using her own “voice” and creativity for the continuation of this mission, which is now TINDERBOX FITNESS. 

I am also grateful for all of the thousands of women and dedicated teachers who have come through these doors – some for a brief time, and some for a very long time – who have formed a strong community of support, caring, and love for each other.   


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I have been playing the piano since I was six and grew up in a musical family where we were always singing. I am from a long line of amateur musicians, so I have never known a time when music wasn’t front and center in my life.  

When people hear me play, they often say, “I wish that I had a talent.”  That always makes me sad, because I believe that EVERYONE has a talent.  It may not be just like my own, but every one in the world – and especially the members of this club- have very special talents and gifts to share.  Whether it is through teaching, cooking, dancing, sharing your smile and a kind word, lending your listening ear, you are showing love in many, many ways.  This is the power of one – our individual ability to empathize with anyone – close friend or stranger, and just possibly make their day brighter.  So, please honor the talents that you have, and know that your unique gift is essential to our world. 


Please come hear my benefit concert CHOPIN MEETS THE BEATLES on Monday, Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m. at Brendle Recital Hall at Wake Forest University.  It is FREE, all are welcome, and it benefits a great cause:

Fulbright Poland— extra educational outreach programs with Polish youth, for which American Fulbright grantees will receive stipends to carry out their extra volunteer initiatives involving culture, science, and leadership - often in small communities where English isn't spoken.

MICHAEL GILMOR, my 22 year old Fulbright colleague and friend in Poland, 2017-18, died suddenly and tragically upon his return to the U.S. in 2018. Donations can be designated for the fund in his name - The Michael Gilmor Fund for Leadership and Empowerment.

(The Fulbright Program is a program of the U.S.Dept. of State that has given more than 360,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.)

Michael Gilmor, 1995-2018.

Michael Gilmor, 1995-2018.


On concert night we will accept cash and checks. IIE, International Institute of Education, will be the non-profit 501c3 organization which collects/distributes the money to Fulbright Poland.

To donate online - and direct your gift by selecting "Poland Fulbright Association Fund" under SELET FUND. Under TRIBUTE INFORMATION, select "in Memory of" and then add MICHAEL GILMOR in the space provided. Please note that if you do not include the "in Memory of" designation in the online form your donation will e made to the general fund in support of the Polish-U.S. Fulbright Commission.  

You can find out more about my music at   My latest recording (an original composition for piano called THREE SCENES FROM POLAND) was just released, and you can find for free on Spotify, or purchase at iTunes, Amazon or here: