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Music Guild of New Mexico Enriches The Community

By S. Mathur

Mary Bunch, VP of Communications at the Music Guild of New Mexico (MGNM) in Albuquerque NM, believes that music speaks to everyone in some way.

"It feeds our inner creativity and particular songs or pieces of music can bring back memories with surprising clarity, and nothing beats live musical performances," she said. "The local music and art communities are important to the vitality of a city and surrounding community."

It was precisely for such a purpose that MGNM was founded. According to its mission statement, "For the love of music, the Music Guild of New Mexico supports, promotes, and encourages nonprofit organizations that will educate, enhance, engage and enrich the quality of our New Mexico community."The volunteer organization supports music through financial, educational, and promotional activities.

"We have a talented and diverse membership who ensures our musical legacy by supporting nonprofit musical organizations and nonprofit music education for young people in New Mexico," Bunch said.

The New Mexico Symphony Guild changed its name to Music Guild of New Mexico when the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra declared bankruptcy and closed its doors in 2011. When the Guild restructured, members decided to support all of the various nonprofit music organizations through a competitive grant program. Since 2011, the MGNM has granted nearly $400,000 to nonprofit music organizations throughout the state The grants support diverse musical groups and styles including folk, jazz, choral groups, orchestral groups, opera and more. For 2017, grantees included the Amy Biehl High School Foundation, New Mexico Gay Men's Chorus, the New Mexico Philharmonic, Opera Southwest and Polyphony: Voices of New Mexico.

The prestigious Jackie McGehee Young Artists' Competition for piano and string musicians, now in its 25th year, is sponsored by the MGNM. It gives young musicians ages 13 to18 the opportunity to perform with a professional orchestra and to win cash prizes.

Education and outreach programs take music and music-making to the public.

"The Education Committee of our organization takes its musical instrument petting zoo to art and music festivals, libraries, and schools, usually in conjunction with a presentation of a Peter and the Wolf program," Bunch said. "We recently took these to a library in Abiquiu. The Education Committee also operates the Center for Adult Learning with fun events for our members as well as the public."

The Music Guild's Senorita Ball is the largest, yearly fundraiser for the Guild. The 2018 Ball will be held on March 17, 2018. The program organized monthly activities for high school seniors, ranging from an etiquette dinner to a self-defense class to a visit to the Santa Fe Opera. The Senorita Ball in April is the culmination of the year, with a Father-Daughter Waltz that is the eagerly waited highlight of the evening.

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