MAMM's Scholarhip Gala Fundraiser


On Thursday, October 12th the Maine Academy of Modern Music celebrated our 10th Anniversary in style with Chords For Kids: MAMM's Scholarship Gala Fundraiser.  

This first annual event was held at Portland's spectacular new music venue AURA and featured performances by MAMM students, a silent auction, and an award ceremony where MAMM recognized "Rock Stars in Our Communities". WCSH6's Cindy Williams & Lee Nelson hosted the event.  Following the award ceremony attendees danced the night away to Maine's own 19-piece big band The Fogcutters whose lead male vocalist is none other than MAMM instructor Chas Lester. 

At the gala, MAMM will be presented its 2017 CHORDS FOR KIDS "Rock Stars In Our Communities" Awards to Maine Magazine, the Quimby Family, WCYY's Mark Curdo, and University of Maine Professor Eugene Nichols:


The 2017 Maine Music Educator Award will go to Eugene Nichols, Professor of Music at the University of Maine at Machias whose creative approach to learning helped inspire Shaw’s vision to bring contemporary music education programs to Maine youth. At UMM Nichols teaches everything from music theory and composition to Broadway and classical music to The Beatles and Frank Zappa. Nichols serves on the board of the Machias Bay Chamber Concerts and is the band leader of many local music groups including the Machias Town Band, Community Chorale, and the UMM Ukulele Club.



This year’s Foundation Partner Award will recognize the many years of contributions by the Quimby Family to the arts and cultural community throughout Maine. In addition to dozens of cultural institutions across the state, the Foundation has supported MAMM’s efforts to provide music education to young people in Machias throughout a variety of afterschool programs. “We really can’t overstate the incredible contribution the Quimby Family Foundation has made to enriching the arts and cultural community throughout Maine,” said MAMM Board President Deb Ivy.

This video above features MAMM board member Tora Johnson who tells the story of how MAMM transformed her son Wolf's life and acknowledges the importance of supporting such music enrichment programs in rural Maine. Funding from foundations such as the Quimby Family's make opportunities such as these accessible to low income families in Down East Maine and beyond.



 Photo Credit: Maine Magazine

Photo Credit: Maine Magazine

Maine Magazine will receive the 2017 Community Sponsor Award for their promotion, support and advocacy of Maine’s music community. “We have been very grateful for the support that Kevin Thomas and the Maine Magazine staff have provided MAMM over the years,” said Jeff Shaw, MAMM's executive director. The magazine collaborates with MAMM on its annual GIRLS ROCK! show and the MAMM SLAM: Maine's High School Rock Off and is currently offering free subscriptions of its Old Port Magazine to MAMM members.



 Photo Credit: Francois Gagne

Photo Credit: Francois Gagne

Mark Curdo, host of WCYY’s local music show Spinout, is receiving the 2017 Music Community Leader award. “Mark has gone above and beyond to introduce Maine artists to new audiences throughout the state and beyond,” said Shaw. Curdo also hosts Markathon, a week-long residency at WCYY, to raise money for local nonprofits.  He is a graduate of St Joseph’s College and currently does branding and promotions for Shipyard Brewing Company.



In addition to its popular after school programs such as private lessons, ensembles, and its MAMMOTH series, MAMM also provides music education programs to schools, civic organizations, and other non-profit organizations, providing hands-on instrument workshops, artist-in-residency programs, private concerts, ensemble direction, workshops, and master classes to hundreds of Maine students across the state.  Partners include the Long Creek Youth Development Center, Preble Street Teen Center, The REAL School, the Maine Seacoast Mission's EdGE after school program, and others.


Chords For Kids is generously sponsored by Wireless Partners LLC, Maine Life Real Estate Co, Maine Magazine, Sylvain + Sevigny, Coffee By Design, Aura, Old Port Advisors, and WCSH6.