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New music non-profit setting up shop in Rockford

Our story begins well over a decade ago. It’s unclear exactly where—a concert, a rehearsal, a lesson, perhaps. I won’t speak for Addison and David, but for me, I think, I was sitting home at my piano. It was in that place after countless hours of note-plunking, improvisatory noodling, and cursing over wrong notes, that I realized that music would be a lifelong endeavor. I wasn’t going to grow out of it—music would be a pursuit that I would need to nurture and balance for the rest of my life.

As musicians, we have all been incredibly lucky. We were raised in homes that supported music and the arts. We were taken to concerts, enrolled in bands and choirs, and given lessons. We were able to use this as a platform for advanced studies—David was active in choirs throughout his collegiate careers, Addison now holds two master’s degrees in music from the University of Illinois, and I received my collegiate training from the Yale College department of music. While we each put a great deal of dedication into the pursuit of our craft, we grew to recognize that our success was a direct result of our exposure to organizations like the Mendelssohn Center, Kantorei, The Rockford Symphony, Rock Valley College, and so many more of Rockford’s vibrant arts organizations.

Addison was the one to have the idea—he spoke with David. Then, they both called me. At its core, the idea was simple—to give back. We had all found a love of music in Rockford. Now, we find ourselves with the knowledge, skills, and contacts to pay it forward. With that, we founded the New Rockford Music Collaborative, a non-profit corporation whose mission is to provide Rockford with the highest quality music in the most engaging and accessible manner possible.

Excellence and accessibility often find themselves at odds when you talk about classical music. We’re hoping to change that—to ensure that anyone who wants to can expose themselves, or a friend, or a child to music crafted with dedication and care. Our first concert, going up March 18th, is slated to be produced in just under ten hours of rehearsal and won’t run you any more than tickets to the movies. Our hope is that this model, aided by personal and corporate donation, is enough to ensure one thing—that we can bring fine music to the Rockford community again, and again, and again.

We can all do something to change our community for the better. This is what we’re working towards. We hope you’ll follow us along on the journey.

NRMC's first concert is March 18th at the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center, 406 N Main St.

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