To all you people whose lives were touched by the ICE music program over these last 12 years:
As I get ready to retire this year I think of all of you and the beautiful work we’ve done together in our insane 5th floor band room. When John brought me into that empty old Stuyvesant darkroom in 2005 I could never have imagined what a complete world of sound and meaning that space would become for all of us. As I look back on this time I am as proud of what transpired in that chaotic music room as I am of any performance I’ve ever been involved in.
But keeping something as special as this program going is gonna take some work. And some funds. So…
The department will soon be led by the wonderful Spanish pianist Albert Marques, whom I met through Zach O’Farrill. Albert will be joined by ICE’s own Calvin Grad, Linton Smith and Zach O’Farrill, and I guarantee they will do a great job! Still, there’s no way around it: running a good music department is expensive! You’d be amazed at how many public schools in New York City and other urban areas have literarily thrown once-great musical instruments in the garbage because of the very high expenses of keeping a working band program. Instrument upkeep is the biggest expense but then there are trip and competition costs; equipment costs including reeds, mouthpieces, and sheet music; costs for additional instruction, etc.
Year after year, the benefits we’ve held with Debbie Harry, the Jazz Passengers and others, combined with the support of the PTA, have filled the void left by minimal DOE funding, but that won’t really continue as I drift off into the sunset (sunrise, moonset, whatever..) We owe it to the future of ICE, Subway Moon and to ourselves to somehow create a fundraising vehicle for the department to sustain itself.
Saturday, June 10th, from 2-5, we have booked Rockwood Music Hall for a retirement fundraising concert to raise money for the ICE music program going forward. A suggested donation of $50 supports the Music Department. I am asking all music student alumni who are still seriously doing music to perform that day and to come to a rehearsal beforehand. Please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are able to do so, so I can give you details. I am also asking serious poets who are still writing to be in contact with Zuri Gordon to write pieces for the event.
Most important, I am asking all families who have been affected in any way by our program to show your support by attending this fun concert.
- Roy Nathanson