REYBURNS TO THE RESCUE!
The WIU Jazz Studio Orchestra (JSO) has received the honor of an invitation to perform at one of the worlds greatest concert halls - Carnegie Hall – and is scheduled to appear with composer Marco Renzi and clarinetist Beppi D’Amato on May 30 at 8:00 p.m. Renzi and D’Amato served as artists in-residence in April 2009 for the School of Music Jazz Studies program at Western. “Maestros Renzi and D’Amato wanted to work with us again based on the wonderful performance that they gave in Macomb with the JSO and Jazz Band,” said John Cooper, director of jazz studies and the JSO.
Not only is this invited engagement a tribute to the talent of the JSO members, it is especially meaningful given that the trip and appearance were resurrected after budget constraints canceled the trip and performance.
When students received the news that their hard earned trip was canceled due to the difficult budget crisis in the state of Illinois, Jerry and LaNae Reyburn of Geneseo (IL) intervened.
“We were so excited when we heard that the JSO was going to perform in Carnegie Hall. This is one of the greatest music venues in the country. The students in JSO have worked hard for many years to be capable of playing at this level. When we heard that the trip was canceled, we simply decided that we wanted to do anything we could to help make the trip a reality,” said the Reyburns. “All the students in JSO deserve this opportunity.”
The Reyburn’s “intervention” consisted of a sizeable donation to help with travel costs, matched by Jerry’s employer, IBM. According to Cooper, “this donation put the trip within reach.” In addition to the Reyburn’s support, the students have done some fundraising on their own, local groups such as the Macomb Country Club have hosted fundraisers, and up to 40 participants are invited to join the JSO on their trip.
Two of those participants will, of course, be the Reyburns. “We wouldn’t miss it for anything. The smile on the faces of the students at the conclusion of the concert is what we look forward to most!”
They Reyburns have been steadfast supporters of various WIU initiatives, particularly in the College of Fine Arts and Communication, since their son Andrew’s enrollment in 2007. “The music department has exceptional faculty and outstanding music programs, both academic and extracurricular,” said Jerry. “LaNae and I attend most of the performances at WIU and have seen first hand the talented and hard working faculty and staff.”
“I am grateful to the Reyburns for their interest and investment in this trip; they really did save it for students,” said Cooper. “I’m thrilled Jerry and LaNae will be there with us at Carnegie Hall to witness the impact this experience will have on all the JSO members.”
By Julie Murphy, Director, Foundation Communications/Donor Stewards