January 4, 2018
To: FCB Members

This is the communication that Metro Bands received to begin the process for the Music on Belle Isle Concerts and the restoration of the Historic Remick Band Shell:

We, the Music on Belle Isle Group (MOBIG), are contacting you to solicit your interest in supporting our goals.   Those are to bring wind band and other live music back to Belle Isle and to encourage the restoration of the historic Remick Band Shell on the Isle.  Your organization and others like it in the Detroit area are vital to the achievement of these objectives.

A group of music directors and other musicians in the Detroit Metro area have been meeting periodically since an initial exploratory luncheon on August 17th at the Belle Isle Yacht Club, hosted by Cheryl Huff.  Members of the Belle Isle Conservancy, Michelle Hodges-President and Katy Wyerman-Director of Development, also attended that first session, where information was shared and issues were discussed.  We were encouraged sufficiently to continue moving forward with our ideas and effort.

Since then, we have been focusing on organizing the effort.  We have filed Articles of Incorporation as a non-profit company, obtained a tax ID number from the IRS, adopted by-laws, and elected Officers and other initial Directors.  The Officers for the coming year are Craig Strain - President, Cheryl Huff - Vice President of Development, Fern Barber - Vice President of Operations, Alan Lollar – Secretary, and Arleigh Helfer - Treasurer.  Jim Liska is Chairperson of the Publicity Committee.  We have established a modest bank account using contributions received to date.  And we have initiated a request for the 501(c)(3) tax status that is crucial to our ability to fund our ambitious plans. 

We are hopeful of being able to program a series of concerts on Belle Isle starting next summer.  These performances would be held at the band shell if it is suitable or at another venue on the Isle if it is not.  The concerts we envision would be free to the general public.  Unfortunately, there are no funds available now to compensate performing groups for these initial concerts.  It is our hope to locate sources of funding that would permit the payment of groups for future performances.

We are asking for your interest in performing a concert on Belle Isle to help create awareness of the music and facility restoration efforts.  We are considering a couple of sites which are appropriate for a good concert setting until the Shell is renovated.

Starting time of the concerts would be 3:00 p.m. and last up to 1.5 hours.  Sunday dates are being considered starting June 17th and ending August 26th if we can attract enough ensembles to fill such a calendar.  Chairs would be available for all groups.  We will provide publicity efforts.

We have established two forms of membership.  One is named Performing Members, and comprises musical organizations who wish to perform under the auspices of our Group.  We are pleased to offer your ensemble a charter membership in our Group.  There will be no dues for the first year, although any funds that your group or members may be able to provide in our support would be appreciated greatly.  Your membership would entitle you to appoint a liaison representative to observe our Board meetings, participate on our Performance Committee, and serve as a focal point for communication with us.  We also are looking for enthusiastic individuals to serve as Directors and on our various committees, and would welcome your recommendations of such candidates.

Would you please get back to me as soon as possible with an indication of your interest in having your organization join us as a Performing Member.  In addition, please indicate your willingness to perform next summer. Apprise me of your first and second schedule choices and any other dates on which you may be able to perform by completing the attachment and returning it to me.    The available dates are shown on the attachment.

Thank you for considering our outreach.  We believe that achievement of our goals would make an important contribution to the Detroit community, particularly those who love to perform and attend wind band performances.  It would be great if your organization would be a part of this endeavor.

Sincerely yours,

Fern Barber,  
Performance Committee
Chairperson, MOBIG
Attachment   25381 Witherspoon
Farmington Hills, MI  48335
p.barber@hotmail.com