Dale Rudy Reflects on His Years of Service as MYAC Chairman

Dale and Melinda Rudy at the MYAC Gala on April 6 
After four years at the helm, MYAC Board Chairman Dale Rudy will transition this summer to a new leadership role as Immediate Past Chair. He will be succeeded by current Executive Committee member Kelly McNamara Corley. A member of the board since 2009 and Chairman since 2015, Dale is a Senior Vice President and Senior Trust Advisor at Northern Trust. Informed by his expertise in the administration of large, complex trusts for individuals and families and his lifelong commitment to the arts and music education, Dale has provided exceptional leadership and support of MYAC for over a decade. He and his wife Melinda reside in Batavia and have three children, including MYAC alum Rebecca Rudy ‘08, who currently serves as the Orchestra Director at Naperville School District 203. We sat down with Dale to reflect on what MYAC has meant to him and his family since his daughter first enrolled eleven years ago.

How did you first got involved with MYAC?
Our daughter enrolled in MYAC during her senior year of High School. During that year, we quickly came to appreciate all MYAC offers to its students – depth of programs for all ages, top quality ensembles, chamber music, world-class instruction – all with a built-in feeling of community.

Why is MYAC important to your family?
For my wife, Melinda, and me, music has always been an important part of our lives and we believe that it is important to provide music education opportunities to young people. Doing so in a constructive, caring environment that rewards hard work and accomplishment is critical. MYAC has figured out how to create such an environment. I have seen high school students who have been part of the MYAC family for literally most of their lives. For them, they truly think of MYAC as a “home” and they have grown to understand the “power of music.”

What has inspired you to support MYAC philanthropically?
Music education programs in our schools are very much at risk, under fiscal attack. It doesn’t require a great deal of effort to find headlines about cut-backs in staffing for school arts programs or the elimination of school music programs altogether. MYAC plays such a critical role in the music education process of our students, many of whom have no other opportunities to make music with other students. Melinda and I decided many years ago that it is important for us to financially support MYAC – to do our part to help MYAC stay sustainable.

What impact do you think MYAC has had on our student’s lives?
When I speak to people unfamiliar with MYAC, they are often surprised to find that only a small percentage of our graduating students go on to become professional musicians. Rather, the real lessons in music education generally -- and at MYAC specifically – is that students learn about how to be a part of something much, much bigger than themselves where their individual hard work and skills are rewarded by the collective ensemble of students producing something magnificent. Of course, these lessons are quite applicable to just about every aspect of our lives.

What do you wish other people knew about MYAC?
I wish they could see dedication of the staff, parents, volunteers, board members and our generous donors. They so generously give of their time, resources, and talents/expertise. They are very inspirational.

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