Transformational gift creates bright future for WYSO

  • Left to right: Martha Paine, Jeffrey Kimpton, Emera Gurath (IAA 15-, IAC 11-12, 14) and Bill Paine. Photographed after Gurath performed at a luncheon honoring the Paines.

  • Emera Gurath (IAA 15-16, IAC 11-12, 14) performing in New York City in Jan. 2017.

On Dec. 13, 2016, longtime Interlochen friends Bill and Martha Paine moved from the audience to the podium with their tremendous gift to help endow the World Youth Symphony Orchestra.

The newly established William and Martha Paine Orchestral Scholars program will support scholarships for the most talented high school musicians enrolled in the Interlochen Arts Camp orchestra program.

Emera Gurath, a senior violinist from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is an example of the type of student who will benefit from the Paine’s generosity. In her career at Interlochen Arts Camp and Academy, she has performed with the Academy Orchestra at the 2016 NY Phil Biennial and been the concertmaster for the World Youth Symphony Orchestra. In January 2017, she returned to New York as one of 19 students in residence with the NY Philharmonic.

Emera remembers what it’s like to play in the premier summer ensemble: “Playing in WYSO was an experience like no other. Words cannot describe the feeling of being onstage with people who are just as passionate about art as I am and making music together. Those moments and memories ... will stay with me the rest of my life.”

Though loyal donors for decades, neither Bill, Martha, nor any members of their family attended Interlochen. However, these avid IPR listeners and supporters have been attending concerts for 40 years—rarely missing a WYSO performance.

They first learned about CREATE AMAZING: The Campaign for Interlochen at the public launch event on July 23, 2016. The day’s celebration inspired them to consider making this remarkable gift to support Interlochen.

“Interlochen is very meaningful to us and plays such a vital role in northern Michigan. We are making this gift to support the talented young musicians who play in WYSO and to help others enjoy Interlochen in the summer as much as we have for so many years.”

Bill is the retired owner of Metalworks in Ludington, Mich., a family-owned manufacturing company that recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Martha has been an active community volunteer, having served on the Board of West Shore Community College.

Through their extraordinary generosity, they will nurture generations of talented orchestral musicians, like Emera, for years to come.