Wednesday, May 31, 2023 (Ann Arbor, MI) — The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra is thrilled to announce a partnership with the University of Michigan Credit Union (UMCU) in launching Play It Forward, an inspiring month-long initiative aimed at collecting gently used instruments and monetary donations to support public school music programs in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. The campaign will run throughout June, and UMCU’s Carpenter Road Branch (2621 Carpenter Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48108) and South State Street Branch (2725 South State St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104) will serve as collection centers. The goal is to raise $25,000 to fund much-needed repairs for currently unusable instruments.
Highlighting the significance of this endeavor, Tyler Rindo, Estabrook Elementary Performance Arts teacher, emphasizes, “True equity in public education relies on intervention from people who truly believe in the cause. No one should be cheated from that right because of where they were born or where their family can afford to live. Ypsilanti Community Schools want to provide their community with the same opportunities as their peers from around the state. For our instrumental music program, that begins with high-quality functional instruments for our young musicians. The kindness and support of people who believe in access to high-quality music education will have life-changing results for our students.”
The Play It Forward drive will kick off with a vibrant event on Friday, June 2, at UMCU’s South State Street location in Ann Arbor. Attendees will enjoy live music, delectable food, and various donation opportunities, creating an engaging atmosphere for community involvement.
Donna Doleman Dickerson, UMCU’s Chief Marketing Officer, emphasizes that the partnership with the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra aligns perfectly with UMCU’s local philanthropic initiatives: “At UMCU, we believe in the transformative power of music education and the importance of providing equal opportunities for all students. Our collaboration with A2SO for the Play It Forward drive reflects our unwavering commitment to supporting our local public schools. Together, we can make a lasting impact on the lives of students and foster a community that truly values the arts.”
For Sarah Calderini, Executive Director of A2SO, the partnership with UMCU presents a remarkable opportunity to significantly amplify the Symphony’s mission objectives. She affirms, “Since our founding in 1928, we’ve remained dedicated to nurturing the next generation of audiences and performers. A critical aspect of this mission is dismantling barriers to entry and equipping every aspiring musician with the necessary tools to express themselves and create music. The exceptional educators at Ypsilanti Community Schools deserve our unwavering support, and the ability to repurpose used instrument donations and repair those currently held by schools creates an immediate—and profoundly meaningful—impact.”
More information on the drive can be found by visiting umcu.org. Donations can be made here.