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Massena Music Friends hold Sunday ‘member rally’

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MASSENA - The Massena Music Friends, a music booster club for the Massena Central School District, will give an update on their plans for the year during a “member rally” that’s open to the community.

The get-together will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Italian-American Club, Beach Street, Massena. Refreshments will be provided. MMF Membership Committee Co-Chairs Pat Tubbs and Suzanne Daye will preside at the rally.

“It’s for anybody that’s interested,” MMF President Paul A. Haggett said. “The rally is our first opportunity to discuss plans for the year with the MMF membership and to give folks the opportunity to get more involved with making things happen that will support Massena music.”

Mr. Haggett said the group is always looking for more volunteers to assist with projects this school year, whether it’s organizing fundraisers, ushering at concerts, attending board of education meetings or baking cookies. Although their mailing list indicates about 280 members, not everyone is able to actively participate in the activities.

They had held their first-ever member rally in January, and this one will allow them to provide updates on their plans for the 2013-14 school year.

“We have some notions as to what our projects are going to be for the year in the fundraising area,” he said.

The Massena Music Friends held a Music Cabaret in November, a concert by the Orchestra of Northern New York in December and a Trivia Night in April, and they’re looking to replicate the success of those events as part of this year’s fundraising efforts.

“We’re pretty busy fundraising-wise. We’re going to be doing the cabaret later on in the fall, the first Friday in November. We will be bringing the Orchestra of Northern New York back do a performance for the community, which will again involve students from the high school mixed choir. Our Trivia Night last spring was very successful and we’d like to replicate that success,” Mr. Haggett said.

They also want to generate new ideas for areas that could involve the Massena Music Friends.

“We’re obviously looking for people to get involved in those things we kind of know we want to do. We’re also looking for ideas for other projects that aren’t in the fundraising realm,” he said.

For instance, Mr. Haggett said, one area that’s been on the minds of some MMF members is the establishment of some type of music hall of fame.

“I know Pat Tubbs, our membership co-chair would very much like to move the hall of fame idea forward,” he said.

They have other possibilities on their list, too, according to Mr. Haggett, including establishing a music scholarship.

“There are other projects that are more in-kind support for the music program as opposed to direct financial support. We want to outline the things we know we want to do. We want to try to generate ideas for things that maybe other people have ideas for, things that maybe we could do or should do. One of the tricky things is to try and draw more people in so the same people aren’t doing everything,” he said.

“The ideas for things are in place. Now we just have to make them happen. We always need people to do that. We’re very hopeful that some folks who maybe have been minimally involved or maybe some who were not involved will come out and want to get more involved,” he said.

In addition to discussing plans for the year, the member rally is also a social occasion, giving music parents and others who want to support Massena’s young musicians an opportunity to meet, talk and get to know one another.

“It’s a multi-purpose thing, simply to get particularly parents of the student musicians together to kind of socialize and get to know one another,” Mr. Haggett said.

Massena Music Friends had its beginnings in October 2010 when a few interested parents met with Massena Central School officials about their idea after attending a budget hearing and listening to students implore school officials to save their program.

Their goal is to do things for the music program above and beyond what the district’s budget will allow.

Through the November Music Cabaret, December Orchestra of Northern New York concert and April Trivia night, the group raised more than $6,200 for the school music programs in Massena during the 2012-13 school year.

“We’re very happy with the advocacy efforts that we put in over the last couple of years. We’ve worked hard to get where we are. We would like to get more people involved to share that load. If people do get involved, they’ll certainly feel good about their involvement,” Mr. Haggett said.

For more information visit the Massena Music Friends Facebook page, the group’s website, www.mcsmusicfriends.org, or email mcsmusicfriends@gmail.com.

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