The Young Musicians Scholarship Fund got a hefty boost for members of Local 30-73’s children and students, due to the good friends of the late Merle Knudson. Jack Gillespie organized Merle’s Party, which he called Battle of the Bands, that took place on October 23rd at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Bloomington. He managed to bring along Dan Odegaard’s Classic Big Band & the Nostalgics, Steve Devich’s Cedar Avenue Big Band, Russ Peterson’s Big Band All Stars, and Joe Pulice, who ran an open jam session. The Hall was filled with great music, and the dancing couples filled the floor with grace and abandon. More people on the dance floor than in line at the bar!
Jack and friends organized this event, asking their colleagues to donate their services on a Friday night, to honor Merle Knudson. They opened up the event free to the public, and after everything was in place informed the YMSF of the event and that all proceeds collected would be given to the scholarship fund in memory of Merle Knudson. Jack arranged for silent auctions and drawings and the big bank bowls at the tables to request donations for the Young Musicians Scholarship Fund.
One need not wait until someone passes away to donate to the the fund. Many have used the fund to honor a family member or friend, or even extend wishes for anniversaries or offer a “get well” message. When you make a contribution you are supporting your children and your students to acquire scholarship funds for a summer music program. We know how expensive it is to provide music lessons for our children and, in turn, for the parents of our students to pay for private lessons from us. When we encourage that summer camp education, that’s where we can help those parents with a bit of financial help to secure the future professional musicians and the future music appreciators.
We thank Jack Gillespie and all the people who made Merle’s Party a once-in-a-lifetime event.
Rachel Brudnoy, President of YMSF