The upcoming Chautauqua County Music Teachers Association spring and winter festivals will be made possible through the financial assistance of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.
The Community Foundation's board of directors has approved a community service grant in the amount of $5,000, to be put toward the CCMTA's Winter Spring Festivals Music project.
According to Karyl Bergey-Glenn, sponsorship development officer for the CCMTA, the Community Foundation's grant is precisely the amount needed to cover the costs of putting on the festivals. The grant money is to be used largely for the purpose of purchasing music.
"We have other costs, but generally the cost of music is right around, or sometimes more than, $5,000," she said. "And the importance of that is in the amount of students throughout the entire county that perform in these festivals, and the fact that we can't continue to use the same music."
The CCMTA's annual purchase of new music is also dictated by strict copyright laws on the publication and distribution of sheet music.
This year's winter festival took place at Dunkirk High School on Feb. 9, and the 64th annual spring festival will take place June 1 at Chautauqua Institution. A conglomerate of students from several Chautauqua County school districts, the festivals feature musicians who have passed auditions administered by the New York State School Music Association and CCMTA in order to participate. The festivals also collaborate with professional guest conductors, providing a professional perspective and working relationship for the musicians.
"If this festival were no longer to be here, essentially everything would start to spiral downward," said Bergey-Glenn. "So,we need these kids to audition these solos for these festivals, and then we need to provide them with new experiences. We can't have them play the same music every year, or they would no longer want to participate."
As a nonprofit organization, the CCMTA is consistently seeking grants every year in order to continue its tradition of providing students with these experiences. Since its inception in 1949, the CCMTA's purpose has been to advance and strengthen the cause of music education in Chautauqua County. Between its two annual all-county music festivals, 10 performing ensembles and approximately 1,000 student musicians are featured each year.
Due to the fact that this is the first grant that CCMTA has received from the Community Foundation, Bergey-Glenn, who was notified of the grant in February, said that she was surprised to receive the full amount of necessary sponsorship from a single source.
"I was not expecting this, and that's why I'm so excited about it," she said.
Additionally, the Community Foundation also supplied the CCMTA with a $500 Blossom Fund over the fall, which was applied toward this year's winter festival.