Sunday, December 14, 2014 05:42:28 PM
Proving a music program
can be Excellent
Sixteen years ago I started the summer music program selfishly because I no longer could afford to send my kids to camp. My eyes were opened to how many students could not attend any program.
My kids were in Junior high school. I was much younger and idealistic. My youngest is now 26.
About three years into the program thanks to Greg Moore, one of our board members and at that time Josh’s sax teacher, had a great suggestion to change the name of the program the Northland Youth Music Program. He said look at the great abbreviation N.Y.M.P. and it was much easier to fill out grant forms and was much more catchy then Duluth Superior Youth Wind Band Program.
By 2006 the program had grown to over 560 students attending the 4 week program and exceptional high powered bands. I have always felt bad for my dedicated staff because there hasn’t been a year that I could tell them we were holding the program until late into May and sometimes into early June. By 2008 and the economic downturn I could not keep the four week program going or raise enough funds to maintain. So we went to a two week program.
After we lost our housing and move to UMD two years ago I had finally hit the wall with frustration and fundraising burnout.
I feel bad that my family though very supportive and patient with me they have missed camping trips, fishing outings, and so many other activities while I put them on the back burner to make sure that our students would have their summer program.
After many years of rejection, after two recent grants were denied last week and the inability to get more local students involved over the past few years, I have decided that I need to take the year off and regroup.
I have many students who have contacted me asking “is this really the end of the camp?” “What can we do to help?”
Don’t get me wrong every student who has attended the N.Y.M.P. has been a joy to know. I wouldn’t change a thing especially for all the good the program has done.
If for some reason our local companies are willing to underwrite the $25,000 and the funds can be raised before April, I will be willing to organize this year’s program though I will not be taking part. I will help our board and the instructors put together the program.
At the end of the year I will evaluate if the program is still relevant to the community and if we will be able to obtain funding for the program and at that time make a decision on the future of the program.
I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of all our students’ lives and wish you a great and healthy new year.
If you have questions please contact me
Bob Greenberg @