What a great weekend! Over 90 people were in attendance at the 30th Anniversary Celebration and 45 of those attendees were graduates of Music for People’s Musicianship and Leadership Program (MLP). It was also so wonderful to have some of our Faculty Emeritus in attendance — David Darling (who co-founded the Music for People organization), Julie Weber, Jim Oshinsky and Lynn Miller.
As a graduate of Music for People’s MLP program, I was so happy to see so many of my fellow MLP graduates! People that taught me the principles of improvisation, people that I made music with in hallways, in workshop sessions, in breakout sessions, in the recording studio. I loved our grad session on Friday where everyone gave a short solo. Each of our musical voices is unique and also join together to make a beautiful musical landscape.
Congratulations to our newest graduates – Alison Weiner and Alina Plourde! The Graduation Ceremony Saturday afternoon was so amazing. Alison and Alina opened with solos and duets with each other and then incorporated members of the community in ensembles in different styles. An incredible musical ceremony!
Saturday evening marked the official 30th Anniversary Celebration. Ingrid Bredenberg, who was also the first board president, presented some history of the Music for People organization from its roots at the Warriors on the Magic Mountain workshop at Omega Institute in 1984 with David Darling and Chungliang Al Huang. In attendance at that workshop were Bonnie Insull, David Rudge and Ingrid Bredenberg. Bonnie Insull was so enthusiastic about the work that she formed the Music for People organization and then developed a teacher training program in order to teach others how to bring music improvisation into their classrooms, their performances and their communities. David Rudge has hosted Music for People’s summer workshop, Art of Improvisation, at SUNY Fredonia for many years and is currently serving as a member of the MLP staff.
The closing session for this workshop had several of our MLP graduates lead the entire group in various activities. The breadth of the activities was amazing – incorporating Music for People’s sense of play and self-expression. My closing CircleSong included these words:
“May your sound be the center of where you live from
May your song be the center of what you share”
We hope you can join us for an upcoming workshop. We also invite you to be a Music for People member or contribute to our 30 for 30 fundraising campaign. But most of all, we hope you share your musical gifts with the world. The world needs your music!