Annual appeal wraps tumultuous MCMA year

Nov 16, 2017
Photo by: Tim Sullivan Students of Midcoast Music Academy, and founder/director Tom Ulichny, perform at the 2017 Maine Lobster Festival.

Rockland — Midcoast Music Academy has launched its annual appeal. The community music school, founded in 2012, covers roughly 70 percent of its operating budget through tuition. In order to continue with its mission, and ensuring all students have access to music education regardless of financial constraints, MCMA must cover the operating gap by contributions from community members.

A new way to support MCMA makes it possible to contribute a small monthly donation to help ensure the school’s continued success. Patreon.com is a way to support the school without making a large one-time donation, as even $1 or $3 a month adds up. Patrons can receive access to videos and perks, and can keep updated with MCMA news. The school hopes to reach 100 Patreon supporters by year's end.

MCMA, recognized by the State of Maine as a nonprofit corporation, has expanded its offerings to include a number of new groups and ensembles. Specifically, there are a number of options for adults including Music for Retirees, Adult Guitar Group, Adult Jazz Group and Adult Percussion Group. New offerings launching in the spring semester (end of January) include Songwriting and Music Theory.

From its first year, the school has fundraised to provide scholarships for some of its private students, who have ranged from age 4 to 70-something and study classical to jazz, rock, pop and blues. MCMA is currently supporting 24 scholarship students. Support varies from 10 to 100 full tuition support.

One of this year’s recipients, a 13-year-old student, said her favorite time of the week is going to her lessons, “because they help me grow.” She said that since going to MCMA, she has become more confident, “not only on stage but in everyday life … I'm so proud to be able to say ‘I am a part of that school.’”

Six months ago, the school was on less solid ground. Founder/director Tom Ulichny and his wife Anne Bardaglio, MCMA’s programs and operations manager, had decided they needed to relocate to upstate New York to lend assistance to family members. But they ultimately made the decision to stay here “as Maine is truly our home,” said Ulichny.

“While we do feel torn between two places, we will make the best effort to travel when possible and support our family while continuing our life's work here in the Midcoast,” he said.

There was never an intention to close the academy, he added.

“Ultimately, we did not feel confident in a responsible exit strategy which would leave our student population and our instructors in a position we felt comfortable with,” Ulichny said.

Midcoast Music Academy admits students of any race, color, national origin, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities, generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and other school administered programs. For more information on the school, visit midcoastmusicacademy.com.

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