The Uptown Music Collective, the area’s premier nonprofit school of music, has kicked off its annual campaign, with this year’s goal set at $40,000. The announcement coincides with the September start of the UMC’s 23rd year of providing students with a powerful education that goes way beyond music.
The annual fundraising efforts allow the school to continue offering programs to every deserving student without ever turning anyone away due to their inability to pay. According to UMC founder and Executive Director Dave Brumbaugh, the Collective committed to two strategies in its early days to make this key principle possible.
One is its scholarship and financial aid program that has allowed some of the school’s finest students to receive a high-quality music education they couldn’t otherwise afford. Since the program’s inception in 2016, more than $154,000 in scholarship funds and financial aid has been awarded to over 135 students.
The Collective also put a focus on obtaining alternative sources of income, such as its wildly popular student performances, grants to upgrade school equipment, and, of course, seeking donations to offset program expenses, an effort that, for the 2022/2023 school year, accounted for approximately 35 percent of total revenue. The UMC participates each year in several major fundraising efforts, including Giving Tuesday, the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania’s Raise the Region and the annual campaign, which typically begins in the fall of the year.
“Thanks to community support through donations and partnerships, along with the UMC’s continued effort to seek creative revenue streams and a continued focus on controlling expenses, the UMC has only enacted two price increases in the past ten years and this year is not one of them,” Brumbaugh said.
It is more important now than ever to find ways to support the community, added Jared Mondell, UMC Assistant Executive Director and Marketing Director.
“Keeping our tuition costs consistent, even when the pandemic caused some major hardships for the school, is our way of demonstrating our commitment to our students,” Mondell said. “We understand times are tough for everyone and if we can continue to make these opportunities possible for our families, then at the end of the day, we have been successful.”
But the school’s programming wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of its donors. Funds raised during the annual campaign and other efforts throughout the year help sustain the operations of The UMC Program, Discovering Music: The Early Childhood Music Program and the Adult Music Program (AMP), each strengthening the Collective’s mission to provide exceptional music education and high-impact musical experiences that instill a love of music and an understanding of the importance of discipline, hard work and community.
“Donations of any amount are appreciated,” Mondell said. “Funding ensures that our students have room to grow and allows us to imagine a future of growth for the Collective, as well.”
The UMC recently announced the first two shows of it’s exciting 2023-2024 performance season lineup that includes It Came From the ‘80s: New Wave to Pop Rock (7:30 p.m. November 10 and 11) and The Decade of Grunge (7:30 p.m. January 27). The remaining shows will be announced and put on sale in December. All shows take place at the Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St., and tickets for all performances can be purchased at caclive.com.
For more information about each of the shows, visit uptownmusic.org or call 570-329-0888. Donations to the school’s annual campaign can be made at uptownmusic.org/annualcampaign or mailed to P.O. Box 1224, Williamsport, PA 17703.