As I write this message, there’s quite a battle going on outside our Museum and in our region. Fires are raging, thousands of people are being evacuated, and many homes and structures have already been lost to the flames. At some point though, the fires will be put out, and we will begin the recovery process. It’s at a time like this that we try to understand exactly what the role of the Museum can and should play in this process.
We know the Museum serves many different audiences: some come for the educational exhibitions, some for the hands-on interactive activities, some for the concerts and musical inspiration… Here at the Museum of Making Music, we also believe it’s our role and responsibility to provide the community with a place and an opportunity to celebrate the joy of making music and its power to help us heal. At a difficult time like this, we hope the Museum can serve as a place of comfort, affirmation and joy— all so essential to renewal and recovery.
We also want to join in the many voices that have thanked the incredible firefighters and safety personnel that have responded with overwhelming courage and effort. When the smoke clears, and it will, we invite you to come with your families to visit us. No admission fee… it seems the least we can do to say “thanks.”
Well, as you can imagine, this wasn’t exactly what I had planned to write about here…but in the space left, let me get back to my original intentions. As we hope you know, this is the second issue of our new Notes newsletter. We also hope you enjoyed the inaugural issue in which we highlighted the Museum’s most recent exhibition, The Banjo: A New Day for an Old Instrument, on display in the Special Exhibition Gallery through October 31, 2014. Don’t miss this wonderful exhibition at the Museum and the revealing interview with Tanya Ogsbury of the OME Banjo Company later in this issue.
In this second issue of Notes, we’re focusing on the theme of learning an instrument later in life, by showcasing three of the Museum’s music-making programs for adult amateur musicians: the band, the jazz ensemble and the string orchestra. These programs, in full swing for quite a few years now, fill a unique niche within our communities, truly enhancing and changing the lives of the participants. We hope their success will serve as an inspiration for all adults who wish they could play an instrument (or learn anything later in life) and as a model for replication in other communities across the nation. We are excited to share insights from the members themselves as well as from the dedicated coaches and conductors.
Finally, I hope that by this time you have already seen the Museum’s new membership brochure. (If not, make sure to call us to request one.) We are very excited by its fresh look, new messaging and, most of all, by its improved member opportunities. The new structure allows you to compose the membership that best fits your interests and lifestyle. We look forward to connecting with each of you here at the Museum—at a concert, in the galleries, or in one of our programs. And, as always, if you have any questions or comments, just give us a call!