I am in the sixth month of an assignment as Interim Director of the Bloomingdale School of Music on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. This oasis of music teaching, learning and celebrating had lost its beloved long-time (22 years!) director to a brief illness in November.
It was love at first sight–a funky old brownstone alleged to have once been the home of “Nicky Arnstein, what beautiful, beautiful name!”–second husband of legendary Fanny Brice-THE FUNNY GIRL–on a breezy block between Broadway and Riverside Drive filled with the sound of music. There was even a baby grand piano in my director’s office studio that prompted my 87-year old Dad to call daily to say, “Have you practiced the piano. You don’t have an excuse since you have a piano in your office!”
The most personally meaningful aspect to this interesting phase of my professional career has been to reconnect to my musical roots and to reflect upon the role music has played in my life. It has also refueled my passion to advocate for providing access to high quality music education, performance opportunities and concerts to anyone who wants them regardless of their ability, income, race or gender. But, hey!–that is the mission of the Bloomingdale School of Music!