Volunteering for JazzMN
Shortly after I retired in 1999, I attended the initial JazzMN Big Band concert and completed a volunteering card, telling the director that I was a grant writer-fund raiser. Doug Snapp called me the next day and I have worked as a volunteer general manager ever since. We are now beginning our eleventh season, all in the black and we still do not have any paid staff members, except the professional musicians. Our annual budget is approximately $95,000, with 50% from ticket sales and 50% from individual and foundation gifts. I devote about 15 hours per week to JazzMN business. Our orchestra is devoted to excellence and is the premier jazz orchestra in the region. We perform four major concerts each year and a number of other sponsored appearances. We have provided education outreach to over 60 schools and 2,200 students with our jazz clinics, joint concerts with school ensembles and festivals for three to sixteen school bands. Part of the reasoning in founding the JazzMN Big Band was to fill the gap left by the demise of the traveling big band, e. g., Ellington, Herman, Rich, Basie, etc. and to provide the contemporary community and future generations with a top flight orchestra, based in the community and accessible via schedule, price, location. We have succeeded. Individual gifts from patrons amount to almost 20% of our annual budget. I volunteered and continue to work daily because I love the big band music, I believe the community deserves a first class jazz orchestra and I know we make a big difference in students' commitment and development to music education. The recognition of my peers (board members) is sufficient.
Submitted by Joe Fleischmanblog comments powered by Disqus