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Home > About > News and Events > News > Member News > MacPhail Center for Music Receives $6.7 Million Gift

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MacPhail Center for Music Receives $6.7 Million Gift

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Jul 27, 2015

On July 24, MacPhail Center for Music announced a $6.7 million donation bestowed by former piano student James E. Ericksen, who passed away in January 2015, at age 68. It is the largest gift in MacPhail’s history and it will be used to strengthen the organization’s general endowment fund.

Ericksen, from Edina, Minnesota, attended Augsburg College, was a Veteran of the U.S. Army serving in Germany and worked for the state of Minnesota for 31 years as an auditor. He enjoyed the symphony, was a world traveler and had a deep love of music, MacPhail and his MacPhail teaching artists.

“James was quiet and reserved, but an extremely polite and punctual individual who was always mindful of the faculty’s time and other students’ time,” says Janet Holdorf, Ericksen’s former instructor. “The substantial gift he left our organization is incredibly generous, and unexpected, but speaks to the great relationships we have with our students.”

MacPhail plans to use the generous, unrestricted gift to build up an endowment fund to further support the organization’s 13,200 students, more than half of whom benefit from financial assistance and subsidized programs, and its 220 teaching-artists. The MacPhail Board of Directors will establish guidelines for the funds to best honor Ericksen’s legacy.

About MacPhail Center for Music

Each year, MacPhail Center for Music opens its doors to more than 6,000 music students and community partnership/residency participants and reaches 19,000 audience members.  MacPhail offers instruction in more than 30 instrumental areas in the form of one on one lessons, group classes and lessons, and ensembles.  MacPhail’s offerings are diverse: from instruction in the classical tradition to pop songwriting, and rock and jazz performance.  MacPhail reaches young children with its Early Childhood Arts classes, one of the oldest and well respected programs in the nation.  MacPhail’s Suzuki Talent Education program, established in 1968, draws hundreds of students from the Twin Cities and beyond to the school each year.  The Prelude Program, designed for highly motivated and talented high school students, addresses young musicians’ interest in the music industry, performance and careers in music.  MacPhail also offers classes, ensembles and private music therapy to students with special needs.  MacPhail is an active collaborator with arts organizations, public schools and social service institutions in the Twin Cities and statewide, offering innovative clinics, residencies and seminars in music instruction and education.

This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education.