My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Midwest Young Artists, Highwood, IL, USA
For six years, MYA provided the musical, social, and even spiritual center for our family. Saturday at MYA was the highlight of our week. When my eighth grade daughter participated in two chamber groups, Concert and Symphony Orchestras, she rehearsed from 8 am to 3 pm straight every Saturday. She grew immensely as a musician and gained in confidence and stamina. Meanwhile, my much younger daughter and I hung out in the lobby, making friends and enjoying the warm, positive, family atmosphere of the place. The little one grew up surrounded by her sister's music--when she was a toddler, she'd hum various themes from "Scheherazade" while playing with her toys. At age eight, she is now a promising musician herself. Even my older son, who has high-functioning autism, participated by taping Sunday soirees and converting the tapes to DVDs as part of his school's work-study program. In addition to all the opportunities it provides, the greatness of MYA lies in the inspirational and visionary people who founded and direct this wonderful organization. It is astounding that Dr. and Mrs. Dennis could have built such a rich and multifaceted institution in a such a short period of time. They are tireless individuals, dedicated to their work. After one winter concert, I clapped and cheered as Dr. Dennis and his orchestra, clad in tuxedos and fancy dresses, took their triumphant bows, then at midnight, I watched Dr. D and a handful of those same kids--now dressed in their dungarees-- unload music stands and equipment off the truck at MYA in the bitter cold. The Zen proverb, "After enlightenment, the laundry," certainly applied. MYA will remain a part of our lives through the alumni concerts and through keeping in touch with those friends we met in the lobby, whose children are now off at college or conservatory, taking with them the skills, experiences, and memories they got from those wonderful Saturdays at the Fort.