Youth Music Project

Nonprofits & Organizations > Nonprofits > Education

Local, passionate community leadership has been the cornerstone of Youth Music Project from the outset. Former Columbia Sportswear marketers turned Moonstruck Chocolate owners, Dave and Sally Bany, established the Youth Music Project in 2012. Their founding executive director, Charles Lewis, spent 13 years at Portland-based Ethos before coming on board, and the Banys have continued as a family affair with daughter Rachael recently assuming the role. YMP’s quality instructors have taught in both public schools and distinguished settings such as Portland’s School of Rock, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls, Ethos and the Americana Project. In an inspired space that was once a church, the project provides students with facilities that include 20 classrooms, two state-of-the-art recording studios, and a beautiful in-house performance theater called The Meteor Lounge. YMP offers year-round after-school music education in the form of instrument instruction—like guitar, drums, fiddle, piano, ukulele or voice—for all children, regardless of their financial situation. With programs ranging from private lessons to group ensembles and summer camps, YMP has a generous sliding scale that includes low-cost or free instruction and instrument use for students on the free or reduced-price school lunch program. Half of its students receive scholarships, and incoming donations allow YMP to charge 60 to 84 percent less for lessons than the area’s for-profit music schools. With continued support, YMP looks to expand lessons, making the gift of music available to thousands of children in West Linn, Wilsonville, Oregon City, Lake Oswego and nearby communities. Andrea Janda, Nov. 2014