Arts Foundation recognizes emeritus board members
The IU South Bend Arts Foundation celebrated the devoted service and support of emeritus board members Carmi Murphy and Ernestine M. Raclin at a backstage reception following the Toradze Piano Studio concert November 18th. Carmi Murphy is the founder of both the IUSB Music Foundation and the broader IUSB Arts Foundation. Ernestine M. Raclin began her long-time support of the school through the annual Sounds of Music and the IUSB Showcase of Arts. She later joined the IUSB Arts Foundation and was the principal fundraiser for the first Toradze Concerto Festival in 1998.
Carmi Murphy is the founder of both the IUSB Music Foundation and the broader IUSB Arts Foundation. In the early 1980s Mrs. Murphy was introduced to Dean Robert W. Demaree Jr. who informed her of drastic budget cuts facing the music department at IU South Bend. Mrs. Murphy took action to assist the music program by assembling six arts advocates from the community. The IUSB Music Foundation was created. Through Mrs. Murphy’s leadership the IUSB Music Foundation developed and presented the annual Sounds of Music festival. This one-evening fundraiser featured multiple appearances by every IU South Bend related music effort in the community—from the IUSB Philharmonic to the South Bend Symphonic Choir, the South Bend Youth Symphony, the Michiana Opera Guild, and, for many years, the Fischoff Competition.
When the arts programs merged together in 1990, Mrs. Murphy expanded the IUSB Music Foundation into the broader IUSB Arts Foundation. Theatre, Visual Arts, and Communication Arts faculty and students began immediately taking part in the annual festival, which became the IUSB Showcase of the Arts. Over the years Carmi Murphy served as chair of various events committees, as well as in the roles of president and assistant president of the foundation. In addition, she is responsible for countless gifts to the school through her support, time, and advocacy.
Ernestine M. Raclin
Ernestine M. Raclin began her long-time support of the school through the annual Sounds of Music and IUSB Showcase of the Arts festivals. Mrs. Raclin later joined the IUSB Arts Foundation, has served as president, and was the principal fundraiser for the initial Toradze Concerto Festival in 1998. This week-long event included a handful of auditioned young concert pianist who came to IU South Bend for coaching, advice from nationally- and internationally-celebrated pianists, music critics, artist managers, and recording executives, in addition to concert appearances with the Elkhart Symphony. Through her support and with that of others the school went on to present the festival three more times over the following decade.
In 2002 Mrs. Raclin gave the school an endowment to be used at the discretion of the dean. To date that gift has allowed for expansion of faculty development, program expansion, student development (including travel to overseas programs), capital improvements, and public relations. In appreciation of the endowment the school was named in her honor and became the Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts. In addition to her contributions of service, advocacy, and financial support, she also served as host to the 2002 Showcase of the Arts Patron Party at her home.
In addition to Carmi Murphy and Ernestine M. Raclin, three other members of the IUSB Art Foundation Board of Directors have been honored with emeritus status.
Robert W. Demaree Jr.
Robert W. Demaree Jr. began his career at IU South Bend as director of music in 1965 and retired after 36 years of service, and many titles changes, most notably dean of the School of the Arts. In his years here, Dean Demaree was able to recruit world-class faculty, including a resident string quartet, currently the Euclid Quartet. He recruited pianist Alexander Toradze to fill the Martin Endowed Professor in Piano chair, the first endowed piano professorship in the IU system. He is also responsible for establishing the South Bend Symphonic Choir as an ensemble in residence at IU South Bend in 1975. He went on to direct the choir for 26 years.
Dean Demaree decided early in his career to interweave the school’s programming tightly into the community. “My bias has always been toward performance and community interaction,” he said. That bias led him to play a major role in creating several ensembles over the years, including the South Bend Youth Symphony, among others. He also led the formation of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, and the Firefly Festival. The work of Dean Demaree is visible throughout the arts programs on campus and the broader community.
Alice A. Martin
Alice A. Martin joined the IUSB Arts Foundation shortly after the Martin Endowed Professor in Piano chair was created in 1991. The chair was funded through a gift from Lee and Geraldine Martin, her in-laws, and Alice Martin continued the family’s support through her contributions to the foundation and school. Mrs. Martin was always present, always supportive, and inevitably willing to build on the Martin family involvement. Along with her support, and that of the rest of the board, the IUSB Arts Foundation was able to present the first Toradze Concerto Festival in 1998. She played a key role in gaining support for the festival, and future events, from Elkhart County residents and businesses.
Mrs. Martin went on to support the school and piano studio through a significant gift, the Rex and Alice A. Martin Fellowship in Piano endowment, given in 2002. This endowment supports a minimum of one graduate student within the Toradze Piano Studio each year with the expectation that as the endowment grows, it will support additional students through recruitment and retention. Mrs. Martin has also purchased a new Steinway concert grand piano for the school through the Rex and Alice A. Martin Foundation. Alice Martin’s contributions of time, advocacy, and financial resources cannot be quantified.
Janet Thompson was an original member of the IUSB Music Foundation, and continued her service to the school when that board became the IUSB Arts Foundation. An advocate for the arts and a pianist herself, she was not only regularly involved, but often chaired the various events supported by the foundation, including the Sounds of Music and Showcase of the Arts festivals, as well as the Toradze Concerto Festivals that came later. Mrs. Thompson served a variety of roles on the foundation, including president, as well as serving on a multitude of committees over the years. During her term on the board she also hosted members of the Toradze Piano Studio at her home. On an amusing note and as testimony to Mrs. Thompson’s graciousness, she was incredibly tolerant when her personal Steinway suffered disrepair due to the exuberant rehearsals of her guests. In addition to her work in the arts at IU South Bend she also serves on the Memorial Home Care Board of Directors.