What does CIVIC MUSIC do?
CIVIC MUSIC serves young musicians and music educators through educational experiences, award recognition, scholarship programs and performance opportunities, and indirectly serves thousands more through our networking within the community of Milwaukee area musicians, music teachers, and arts institutions. Participating Milwaukee area youth take part in a variety of unique opportunities to refine their skills and practice their craft through private lessons, auditions, workshops, master class, competition and live performance. CIVIC MUSIC nurtures emerging artists with programming focused mainly on solo performance.
Who does CIVIC MUSIC serve?
CIVIC MUSIC serves young musicians and their educators in the greater Milwaukee area with opportunities that enhance their lives. The Private Lesson Program is open to young musicians in grades 4-12 who have not yet been exposed to private music lessons. The High School Competition and Showcase Recital is open to accomplished high school musicians in grades 10-12 seeking performance opportunities, instruction and scholarships. CIVIC MUSIC also recognizes high school musicians who demonstrate great leadership, exemplary music teachers and administrators, and distinguished citizens with awards and events that celebrate their achievements.
Who can audition for the Private Lesson Program?
The Private Lesson Program is open to band and orchestra students who will be in grades 4-9 in the following year and vocalists who will be in grades 8-12 in the following year. This program is for students who have not yet had the opportunity for private study and can demonstrate financial need. CIVIC MUSIC will pair the students with CIVIC MUSIC teachers. Students are awarded a scholarship and parents are asked to make a small co-pay per lesson. This program in in its second season of an expansion from a one year program to a potential for three years of lessons. This expansion was a response to evaluations and comments received by parents, students and teachers. In the 2019-20 season, this program provided lessons to 60 students. (We made the difficult decision to reduce the number of scholarships to 50 for this extraordinary pandemic year.)
Who can audition for the High School Music Competition Scholarships?
Auditions are open to young musicians in grades 10-12 who are performing at the WSMA Class A level and above. During the Audition Day, CIVIC MUSIC presents a number of workshops and masterclasses of interest to a student at this level. All auditioning musicians are encouraged to attend these to prepare themselves for future competitions and performances. Six instrumentalists and four vocalists are selected each year to perform on the High School Showcase Recital, now presented at the Milwaukee Art Museum. The winner of the Lee Guse Memorial Jazz Scholarship also performs. Winners of the Young Arts Scholarships are announced at the close of this recital.
How is CIVIC MUSIC funded?
CIVIC MUSIC is supported through a diverse mix of funding streams: private and family foundations, individual donors, corporate support, and special event revenue. An active Fund Development Committee and Special Event Committee guide our efforts, as outlined in our Board-approved Fund Development Plan. In addition, the Finance Committee has budgeted an annual distribution from our endowment fund to support our operating expenses. CIVIC MUSIC holds a bi-annual Awards Banquet in late fall to honor recipients of the Lifetime Achievement in Music award and the Distinguished Citizen Awards for Professional in the Arts and Patron of the Arts. This event also serves as a major fundraising event to raise important support for its programs. (In the 2020-21 season, we are planning an online event in March 2021.)
How do CIVIC MUSIC offerings benefit young musicians?
Bright young people who have a passion for music and the ability to succeed exist in every demographic and income level. The study of music enhances critical-thinking skills and creative problem solving, encourages teamwork, and teaches self-discipline and effective communication. Edutopia contributing editor Fran Smith wrote, “Arts education...is closely linked to almost everything that we as a nation say we want for our children and demand from our schools: academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity.” The study of music is an extracurricular activity for most young musicians. Many invest countless hours of practice when their friends are pursuing other activities and incur substantial costs for private lessons and instruments. School programs rarely offer opportunities for these dedicated students to perform as soloists, or coaching in the techniques and protocol necessary to present a polished performance. The value of arts education in promoting high achievement in all academic areas is well documented, but the need for serious music students to develop their skills through live performance before an audience, and to gain poise through solo audition and competition is often overlooked. CIVIC MUSIC encourages these talented young musicians to pursue the next level of musical potential by providing unique performance opportunities and recognition of their accomplishments at a critical time in their growth and development.