A driving force to keep the music alive in Clear Lake
BY: RACHEL WUMKES
The Music Enrichment Center came to full fruition in 2019 with the purchase of an adjacent building near the Surf. It is the perfect addition for the people of Clear Lake and our visitors. Its purpose is to share the story and history of the Surf Ballroom and has become instrumental in shaping young minds, educating them about our legacy and enhancing their ability to express themselves through music.
This mecca of music education is a place to attract lovers of music, providing a centralized location where people, young and old, can gather to learn, practice, perform and enjoy music. They are passionate about sharing the story of the legendary Surf Ballroom to keep the music (and the history) alive.
So, how can you get involved?
The Music Enrichment Center currently has four incredible music teacher. Each is ready to share their passion for music, and help their students learn and grow.
Karen Miller – piano
Abigail Heggen – piano
Nic Johnson, guitar, bass guitar, mandolin, and ukulele
Bruce Ray- group guitar
If cost is an issue, you may want to investigate the Surf Ballroom Instrument & Music Lesson Scholarship Program. Established in 2021, this program is designed to help students who would otherwise not be able to afford music lessons. Thanks to some very generous donors, the program is solely available based on the amount given each year.
It seems like each season continues to grow, and so does the need to provide more scholarships. If you are interested in donating to the Instrument & Music Lesson Scholarship program, checks can be made out to the Surf Ballroom & Museum.
Learning to play an instrument is not the only service provided at the Music Enrichment Center.
They welcomed Marissa Humberg in the spring, who provided music therapy sessions. This collaborative effort put on in conjunction with One Vision’s Autism Center was free to the public. A grant from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and National Endowment for the Arts covered the cost for all participants.
June through August created jam-packed fun for all with activities galore! These programs, tailored to specific age groups, included Giddily Bo Diddly, the traveling instrument petting zoo, voice lessons, the Senior Spotlight for senior citizens, and the summer reading program.
The Center was able to bridge the gap between themselves and the iconic Surf Ballroom this summer by having students perform before or during intermission of the Summer Concert Series. It was the perfect experience for these youngsters to showcase their talent in front of some awesome crowds!
Providing this service to the public, however, does not come cheap. The overhead costs associated with their building, materials, instruments, music purchases and instructor fees can be overwhelming. Being a nonprofit entity, they rely on the generosity of the community the same as any other charitable organization.
And so, they have launched a donation campaign drive for those looking to support music education within our fantastic community. If you are interested in supporting the mission of the Music Enrichment Center as they mold our youngsters into well-rounded humans through the gift of music, you can do so at https://north-iowa-cultural-center-and-museum.square.site/