With an initial $2,500 donation, The Maine Steiners, the University of Maine’s oldest a cappella group, became the first performing arts student organization to establish an endowed scholarship fund with the University of Maine Foundation.
The Maine Steiners Vocal Music Scholarship Fund will promote ensemble singing at the University of Maine, according to the group’s business manager Morgan Cates.
“We wanted to find a way to support involvement with the School of Performing Arts for years to come. It is our goal that this scholarship will give students the opportunity to get involved with the arts who otherwise may not have had that opportunity,” Cates says.
The $2,500 gift along with an $8,000 pledge met the $10,000 goal established for new endowed funds with the addition of matching funds from the University of Maine Foundation’s 80th anniversary matching gift program. The gift included $500 for immediate distribution of the first scholarship in fall 2015.
“We are very appreciative of the Maine Steiners for their commitment to this much needed scholarship support and their vision for the future of the performing arts at UMaine,” says Foundation President Jeff Mills. “This fund represents a significant contribution for a student group.”
Ongoing fundraising for the scholarship fund will occur with the creation of limited edition engraved steins in a “Fill the Steins!” campaign. Steins are currently in production at UMaine’s Innovative Media Research and Commercialization (IMRC) Center in partnership with the Intermedia MFA Program.
The campaign will offer a different stein design annually for the next four years. The first stein will be unveiled in the coming weeks, with subsequent designs offered every January. Each of the 25 annual steins cost $100.
In addition, the Steiners’ next album “Thank You for the Sing!” will be out this month. It is the Steiners’ first album since 2010. The group has spent more than 60 hours in the IMRC Center’s studio, recording tracks in collaboration with audio engineer Duane Shimmel.
“Thank You for the Sing!” will include arrangements of classics such as “Live Like We’re Dying” and “A Little Less Conversation.” A launch party for the album will be held at the IMRC Center April 25. All seven current Steiners perform on the album.
Gateway Mastering, owned by Grammy award-winning mastering engineer Bob Ludwig, will master the tracks. Shimmel and Cates are the producers.
These efforts are in addition to the Steiners’ preparation for their annual spring tour, which will happen in May and take the group across the state and as far as New York.
In addition to Cates, who is from Camden, Maine, the other Steiners are: five other members from Maine — Cain Landry and Forrest Tripp of Saco, Avery Topel of Windham, Derek Willette of Hampden and Mike Knowles of Charlotte; and Rob Laraway of Tilton, N.H.
Anyone interested in the spring tour performance locations or in supporting the fund by purchasing an album or stein can contact email@example.com or go online (mainesteiners.com). Albums are $10 and will be available at Bull Moose Music and the University Bookstore, and at all Maine Steiners live performances.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745;