Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Midwest Young Artists Snow Day

Yea, a snow day!  Allan and I were remembering snow storms from years ago and happy days of staying home from school.  You may not know that he grew up on a 500 acre farm in upstate New York.  His dad also had a construction company so they would get calls to come with their bulldozers and pay loaders from the County and others who needed help moving snow.  He said the hardest thing was thinking ahead about where they would put the snow as they were pushing it.  Once to his alarm, he discovered he was pushing a car with a woman in it.  She was scared and grateful.  Another time, his dad sent him to help someone stuck up the road.  As soon as he was dozed out, he took off without paying the $20 so he learned some good lessons.  The most important he said is thinking ahead.
This lesson is a good one for our jobs at MYA.  With 50 concerts a year, dozens of master and instrument classes, summer programs, a benefit, Music &Fun Fest, two big national competitions and this week's Chicago Bass Fest, our challenge is to think ahead.  Yesterday, LFHS was let out early, so Mr. Bassill and Allan thought through chamber music issues before we left our cars at MYA and took the train home.  Sandra Wu continued work on the auction and picked up an auction donation at Poeta's in Highwood (if you like Italian Sausage, this is the place to buy it!). Will worked on registration packets for this Sunday's Bass Fest.

This morning I made calls to our Young Music Scholars and Mentors to cancel tonight's lessons.  Was glad I made the calls.  It re-enforced what I thought.  The students sounded a little sad, and a mom of one of the mentors said this opportunity was the highlight of her daughter's week.   The Young Music Scholars Program is the brain child of Mr. Pearson and we are grateful to Nathan Sackschewski ('01 Alum) for helping to launch it this year.  It brings together students selected by their school music directors and Symphony Orchestra musicians who give them private or small group lessons once a week.  Nathan, a middle school teacher in Buffalo Grove, is there each week as a coach and mentor to the students as they gain experience teaching.

I'd like to recognize Mr. P for believing in this program, Nathan for guiding it along, Mrs. Reagen for her flexibility in Reading Orchestra this year, and Grace Householder, Lisa Chertok, Gwen Hickey, Paige Affinito, and Dale Watt, our first mentors.  I'd also like to thank Sue Morris from South School, Lina Mason ('02 Alum) from Green Bay School in North Chicago, and Steve from Oak Terrace School in Highwood.  We appreciate their cooperation and the time it took to make this opportunity available for their students.  All are outstanding examples of Citizen Musicians.

If you have questions about the YMS Program, think you might like to participate next year, know other school directors to involve, or potential funders for this program, please let me know.

Enjoy the snow!

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