Dear FFOTM Members,

Ken Collier, our outgoing president, served for the past six years on the FFOTM board. Ken spent many volunteer hours supporting FFOTM, which in turn has contributed to the Flagstaff community at large. All of us on the Board will miss him and his thoughtful approach when making decisions. Fortunately, Ken will still be nearby, and we expect to see him at the weekly jams and listen to his excellent mandolin playing. Ken, from all of us on the board: Thank You! We wish you the best!

Current FFOTM programs include Pickin’ In the Pines, Young Jammers, the Folk Festival and Contra Dance. The Folk Fest provides local and regional folk musicians opportunities to play to an audience. The Contra Dances are great fun and encourage attendees to meet others in a very active and upbeat setting. The Young Jammers Program provides musical instruction and free instruments for youngsters and young adults. The Pickin’ In the Pines annual festival is approaching it’s eighteenth year and brings top name talent in bluegrass and traditional music each year, which draws attendees from all over Arizona and neighboring states.

As incoming president, my role is to continue supporting these programs, and to strengthen them as well. To this end the board has created the Young Jammer Internship. As of the Spring 2024 semester, with the guidance of Eric Lenz, Director of the Kitt School of Music at NAU, we initiated a student teaching internship. Students will receive one to three credit hours toward their degree for their participation as instructors for our Young Jammers Program (MUS 408 Music Fieldwork). FFOTM benefits as the interns are helping to instruct Young Jammers, and the relationship brings traditional music closer to the interns as well as other students.

The FFOTM Board has also been working to increase our membership. As we do this, we provide more opportunities to enjoy music and dance with our members, friends and families. With this goal in mind, I challenge you to recruit one new member. Or, if you are not a member, then please join us. Our members have a positive impact on each other, and the more of us there are, the better off we will all be.

Warmest regards,
Rich D’Aloisio
FFOTM Board President

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