Joan Martin became a VYOA donor in the late 1960s when her children became involved with the org then called Burlington Friends of Music or BFOM. Mrs. Martin was kind enough to share her experience as a parent, Board member, and longtime supporter:
Q. Why did you first get involved with the VYOA?
A. My eldest daughter Lori had just started the violin. Carolyn Long or Liz Wallman got me interested, and it was a very wonderful group of women. Lori continued to play the violin, my daughter Patti played clarinet, and Brenda played the French horn. Then, my grandson Wylie played oboe in VYO and went on the China tour in 2007.
Q. How has the organization changed over the years?
A. The used instrument sale was one of the BFOM’s big fundraisers, and I came up with the idea for it! All the instruments had to be appraised by an instrument dealer. St.Paul’s Cathedral donated space for the sale. It was a huge job, and the friends did a fabulous job with that for quite a few years. Summer camp (Reveille) was also a very big occasion. While fun and a good musical experience for the kids, it was a huge job for the association and friends.
Q. What inspires you to support the VYOA?
A. The VYOA is one fantastic organization! As it has grown it has flourished and so many young people have benefited from every aspect of it. These young people have given hours and hours and I do not believe that they would ever say it was not worth every hour that they have spent. It has certainly been my great pleasure to be an active supporter of the VYOA.
Q. Why do you think music is an important part of a young person’s development & growth?
A. It provides discipline, commitment, friendships, the beauty of music and sometimes even a vocation. Music stays with you all of your life even when you no longer play in an orchestra.