Instrumental Music Parents Club
February 12, 2015
Annette Burke, Christopher Norris, Matt Hyser, Cathy Voyack, Nancy Matthews, Mike McDevitt, Chanell McDevitt, Annette DeRosa, Gretchen Morris, and others.
Call to Order and Faculty Reports
The meeting was called to order at 7:40 P.M. by N. Matthews
Ms. Burke reported that she took senior orchestra members to the Kimmel Center in January to see a concert. She said that 15 students were accepted as members of the All South Jersey Orchestra following auditions in December, and that she was aware of 5 students who intended to audition for All State Orchestra in March. She noted that the Pops concert is scheduled for March 26th, and that she would send out an email asking for volunteers to bring food and water for the reception.
Mr. Norris noted that the Band's Pops concert is scheduled for March 12th, and that the band would be playing Rhythm Machine with the 8th graders. It was confirmed that refreshments for the reception were being coordinated through Sign-Up Genius. Mr. Norris stated that Matt Eng has entered an international piano competition to be held at Hilton Head, and would like to hold a recital beforehand as practice at the high school, as well as at the Evergreens. He stated that the high school recital is scheduled for February 22 in the Orchestra/Band room at 3 P.M., and asked that the IMPC provide a small reception. He confirmed there is no Concert in the Parks trip this year, because of difficulty in scheduling, and said he may try something through the Kimmel Center going forward.
Mr. Norris stated that the Midi-Lab will be renovated in the next school year, which includes new computers and keyboards.
Fundraising – Raffle Baskets
Mr. Norris noted that the Illiades family left a nice basket in his office for the basket raffle to be held at the Pops concert. G. Morris indicated she would send them a thank you for the basket. She stated that she intended to create an additional basket with a fitness theme, and a gift card tree. She said she would use Sign-Up Genius to promote the gift card tree. An alternative might be a coffee and/or tea basket. It was confirmed that tickets for raffle baskets remain at 1 for $5, 3 for $10, and 8 for $20.
Aimee Haydinger was unable to attend the meeting, so N. Matthews presented the Treasurer's report. She reported that as of January 15, 2015, IMPC had income from the Membership dues approximating $3,341.00. She reported that expenses as of December 18, 2014 totaled $618.99, leaving an ending cash balance of $5,975.05 on February 1, 2015 when the school year 2014-2015 beginning balance of $3,235.04 (as of September 4, 2014) was added. It was noted that the IMPC raised an additional $900 at the Pops Concerts in 2014 via the raffle baskets, and that everyone thought this was a reasonable amount to anticipate raising at the Pops concerts this year.
Goals and Expenses
A discussion of expenses for the remainder of the year ensued. The IMPC expected to cover the costs of plaques and engraving for each of the graduating seniors – there are 19 seniors in the orchestra, and approximately 15 in the band. Recently, the plaques have come from Townline Trophies, and after some discussion, the IMPC determined to try that company again. (A. Haydinger is in charge of procuring the plaques.) After some discussion, it was agreed to expect to spend approximately $650 on plaques this year. Mr. Norris said that, recently, the IMPC also reimbursed the band for awards and certificates presented at the May concert.
It was acknowledged that scholarships had totaled $1,600 in the last few years, with two $400 scholarships going to orchestra seniors, and two going to band seniors. It was noted that instrumental music students are eligible for MoorArts scholarships as well. Ms. Burke explained that the students can apply, and the teachers write recommendations, but are not involved in the selection process for the MoorArts scholarships. She stated that the MoorArts scholarships and IMPC scholarships generally do not overlap, but that not many of the band and orchestra students have applied for the MoorArts scholarships in recent years.
It was acknowledged that the IMPC had previously agreed to cover the costs of certain instrument repairs, and Mr. Norris noted that $156 had been spent thus far on percussions, and that an additional small amount was expected to be spent on repairing guitars. The IMPC agreed that Mr. Norris should forward the bills directly to A. Haydinger.
There was discussion about additional needs of the music program. Mr. Norris and Ms. Burke mentioned significant issues with maintaining reasonable temperatures in the large rehearsal room, and the impact is has on the students' ability to play, as well as on the integrity of the instruments, particularly the stringed and woodwind instruments. They acknowledged that the administration was aware of the problem, and had made provisions for a double tank humidifier for the piano, but that the temperature issue remained unresolved. Members of the IMPC agreed to write to representatives of the Administration to voice parental and community concern about the issue. (C. Voyack agreed to write this letter.)
Ms. Burke and Mr. Norris raised the issue of insufficient chairs and stands for the band and orchestra when multiple groups are rehearsing and/or performing on stage, especially when performances are combined with one another and/or with the 8th grade. Ms. Burke indicated she had requested additional purchases of chairs and stands in the previous two budgets, but so far, she was not aware of any purchases having been approved. It was agreed that this was not a funding issue for the IMPC, but members of the IMPC agreed to write to representatives of the Administration to voice parental and community concern about the issue. (A. DeRosa agreed to write this letter.)
N. Matthews indicated a concern about sustaining membership of the IMPC without a clearly defined goal. The IMPC was originally formed to shepherd the purchase of a new concert piano, and that goal was accomplished some years ago. She stated that general support of the instrumental music program is important in and of itself, but explaining how the IMPC supports the music program is not easy, and having a singular large project may help to focus the discussion and galvanize community interest.
The teachers suggested purchase of a new upright piano for the large rehearsal room. They noted that the existing piano is not in good shape and will not hold tune for any length of time. It was noted that having an additional piano is necessary because: frequent movement of the baby grand piano from one rehearsal room to the other is not feasible; the size and difficulty of moving the baby grand makes it preferable to keep it in the smaller orchestra room (which has a more direct path to the stage); the temperature issues of the large rehearsal room aren't good for the baby grand; and, the orchestra is too large to use the smaller rehearsal room. It was also noted that an upright piano would be preferable for the Winter Concert because of space issues in the auditorium. The teachers indicated that a good upright piano could be purchased for less than $20,000, and said M. Hyser would research the matter.
The IMPC agreed that purchase of an upright piano is a worthy goal. After some discussion, it was suggested that the IMPC may try to obtain some contributions or matching funding from MoorArts and the Moorestown Education Foundation as well. It was agreed that more details would be discussed at a future meeting.
It was agreed that there will be another meeting before the end of the school year, but a date was not established.