NYMP plans final program for music students
Fifteen years ago, the Northland Youth Music Program started with the premise of creating an affordable music program for area students.
A year later, Bob Greenberg was approached by local music educators to start the program.
After talking to a variety of music educators, elementary, high school and college from around the area, one educator said it wasn’t going to happen, you can’t raise the funds, and the kids won’t come out even if you do, Greenberg said. That answer was why NYMP was started.
After 15 years with thousands of students going through the program, Greenberg said this year will be the last for the summer music education program.
“I am still working as an ER nurse and it’s time to go fishing and camping and spend more time with my wife and family,” Greenberg said.
Greenberg, known to some as “pushy” said it wasn’t easy to raise the $25,000 needed on average to pay for the program. And after the economy faltered in 2008, the four week summer program had to be reduced to two weeks.
“We have averaged 130 students per year since,” Greenberg said. “One thing that has always caused me to scratch my head, even though we have said we will never turn away any commuter who could not afford to pay tuition, we still could not get many … students to participate.”
The goal of the program was to keep students active in music, in school and looking toward the future when they finished high school.
“I have many great stories I will remember of student and family lives that were changed from a student’s attendance at the program,” Greenberg said.
The 2014 summer program starts July 13 with the concert band program.
The jazz band program starts July 20.
“We can have around 125 students attend per week,” Greenberg said. “What a great way to end this program then to have one last large program.”
However, there are only about 60 students signed up for the concert band and 50 for the jazz program. And Greenberg needs help to make sure no student is turned away because they can’t pay tuition.
“I would like to ask all of you to consider ways you can help me get the message out to the students and their parents,” Greenberg said. “Originally I was not going to announce the end of the program until after it was over at the end of July, but if we can get a few more students to experience the program before it’s over then it would be worth letting you know ahead of time.”