Concerts are cherished tradition
By Jeff Weld | July 17,2014
As a long-standing member of the Castleton community, Castleton College is proud of its place among our many friends and neighbors in our historic village. Every Tuesday evening throughout the summer we are happy to share our backyard for good conversation, good music and a family atmosphere. Much like the free skating under the pavilion in the winter, it is our chance to open our doors.
Recently, an article in the July 9 edition of the Rutland Herald called into question our handling of the concert series, and specifically our treatment of Dick Nordmeyer, who
brought the concert series to Castleton in 1996. The article was hastily pulled together and devoid of certain supporting facts.
Some, but not all, recent Rutland Herald articles related to the town of Castleton as well as the college have more closely resembled a gossip column, rather than the quality journalism we have come to expect from the Herald or our own student-run college newspaper. News articles and headlines should reflect the facts. Opinions should be left to gossip columns and Facebook pages.
We hope that the discerning reader will consider the following facts.
As a member of the community, we have always felt strongly that our facilities, when possible, can serve all people in our town and the region. Since the inception of the concert series we have provided a rain location, technical support and anything else within our means. We have done this as a voluntary contribution to the community. It is what makes a community special, and is part of our culture at Castleton. Two years ago, Mr. Nordmeyer approached the college about taking a more active role in the concert series. We agreed. He booked the bands and left the logistics to us. We welcomed the partnership and worked together to help the series continue to thrive.
The move to the pavilion on campus was a logical first step and was welcomed by the town leadership and Mr. Nordmeyer. It provides a single location, rain or shine, ample parking, and a safer environment where children can play without the fear of wandering onto Main Street.
We were surprised and disappointed when we were told that in the fall 2013 Mr. Nordmeyer had contacted the concert sponsors stating he would no longer be a part of the series moving forward. While the college underwrites a major portion of the funding, we are grateful for the loyal sponsors who understand that without their support the concerts would not happen and that their pledge is to the community at large — not to an individual or to the college.
Boy Scouts Troop 13 of Castleton and Poultney was a long-standing food service provider of the concert series. Unfortunately, we were told that due to circumstances beyond their control they could no longer help at the concerts. We publicly thanked them — as well as Mr. Nordmeyer — for their tremendous service prior to the opening show on June 3.
The 50/50 raffle continues to support local charities. This includes the Castleton Women’s Club, local Special Olympics, the Castleton Hubbardton Community School Organization, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in Rutland County, the Castleton Community Center, the Castleton Free Library, and Castleton Cares. In fact, this year we tied in a very successful Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce mixer with the Satin & Steel concert to help raise more than $600 for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.
There are times when on-campus groups utilize the concert 50/50 for fundraisers. The alumni association, which was cited in the July 9 article as an offender, uses the funds from their 50/50 to help fund need-based scholarships to help educate future Castleton students. These are the very students who are the future leaders of our communities, help drive our economy, and stimulate our growth as a region. Out of 11 concerts this year, two 50/50 raffles support our students; the rest support community charities.
Change can be difficult. What will remain consistent is that Castleton College will always be a committed member of this community, and the free concert series will serve the Castleton community and the greater Rutland region for years to come.
Jeff Weld is director of marketing and communications at Castleton State College.