This is Part Three in a series of posts about Musicians for Michiana. What would a chamber music series be without a fantastic set of musicians?
is not a large town - which is why I was pleasantly surprised to
discover that there were so many serious topnotch musicians living in
the area, and so many more who come in every month to perform with the
South Bend Symphony. We are just far enough from Chicago and Grand
Rapids and Kalamazoo that our members frequently choose to spend the
week here in town during orchestra cycles - with the result that there
are a large number of professional musicians who consider South Bend a
home base. Who have connections here to the community, and a stake in
its success and growth.
And this was definitely another part of
my inspiration in starting this project. Musicians love to play, and
crave more opportunities to dig deeply into chamber music with friends.
There are few things more fun than working together in this way. And all
of us have a significant level of commitment to the community but a
limited amount of material resources to offer.
here, from my own position. The number of worthy organizations here in
town is very large, and I would love to support them all. The amount of
cash on hand I can offer to these groups is noticeably limited. I do
have a skill, though, and a number of talented colleagues who feel the
same way. Hence, Musicians for Michiana.
Now, you may ask, why
pay the musicians if the whole point is to raise money for the
organizations in question? Aren’t they willing to give of themselves
for free? In surprisingly many cases they are, in fact, but I am not
willing to ask them to.
For a freelancer, like myself, time is
absolutely money. I am not on a salary, and I don’t have significant
investments, so money only comes in when I work. Work takes a certain
amount of time - I can’t power through a rehearsal or a lesson by
working extra hard and then get out early. As much as I’d love to offer
my services for free, I know that if I do I’ll end up resentfully
turning down other paying work on the day of the performance, or
accepting that work which is too good to refuse and leaving my
colleagues in the lurch. Playing for free is not a sustainable model,
and I won’t ask my friends to do it. We’re not paying them much but it
can’t be nothing.
So far my favorite thing about Musicians for
Michiana is the enthusiasm I’m getting from EVERYONE I talk to, and no
one is more on board than the musicians. The conversation tends to go,
“Hi, Friend! I’m starting a new chamber music series -“
“Ooh! Can I play? What do you need? You know, I have this great piece…”
really humbling to have so many people leap on board with me. I know
they are all wonderful players and committed human beings, and just hope
that we can bring the nuts and bolts of the project up to the level of
our collective enthusiasm.
Who are these marvelous players?
These people who are eager to help out with this new series, and make it
special? They are principal and section players in your local symphony
and other orchestras. Members of professional quartets. Tenure-track
professors at real universities. Local music teachers for your child
and mine. And active members of our community. I love them, I’m proud
of them, and I’m one of them. We are the Musicians for Michiana!
Please visit our Indiegogo campaign
before November 30, and help to support our plan. Please tell your
friends, and your families, and your colleagues to stop by and check us