You may know us just as PAMDA, the cute little music school at Leir House. But this little music school is a charitable not-for-profit organization with a serious mission.
The official name of the Penticton Academy of Music & Dramatic Arts is The Penticton Academy of Music Society. It was incorporated in 1994 by a handful of people who believed that everyone in our community should have access to high-quality music education. It continues to be run by a dedicated volunteer Board of Directors who believe strongly in the role the school plays in our community - and without whom there’d be no school.
Why is It Important?
“PAMDA provides an important service to the community by giving everyone an opportunity to express themselves through music and dramatic arts,” says Kathy Locke, guitar student and Board Secretary. “It helps to make the culture in Penticton healthy and thriving and makes Penticton a better place to live.”
“Music is inexorably linked with what it means to be a human being,” says Sam McNally, PAMDA horn instructor and Board Faculty Liaison. “We've been at it for at least the last 40,000 years, if the carbon dating of bird-bone flutes can be relied upon, and I'd put my money on it being a lot longer than that.”
McNally, who is also a member of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, adds “In my opinion, learning music is as much a person's right as is learning to read or write. Unfortunately, there exist many barriers to music education, especially financial ones. PAMDA's aim is to break down those barriers and bring world-class instruction to any one that wishes to seek it out, via the bursary program and an incredible faculty. It’s a great thing to be a part of. It's wonderful that a small community like Penticton is serviced so well in music education!”
How Can You Help?
If you’ve registered for lessons in this academic year, then you are a member of the Society and may vote at the upcoming Annual General Meeting. You may also join the Board. This year, several of our board members are finishing their term (as set out in our bylaws), leaving room for new board members. If you’re interested in helping PAMDA continue its mission, consider joining the board.
It’s not time-consuming. Board members attend ten monthly board meetings, which are kept to an hour, and participate in at least one committee (such as fundraising, event planning, or bursaries). According to all of our board members, it’s time well spent.
“PAMDA matters to me because the arts matter in individual lives and in our community. Personal creativity, the encouragement of musical and dramatic expression, and our skilled faculty all combine to allow PAMDA to make a real and positive difference. Lessons for all ages and bursary possibilities make new artistic learning accessible,” says Nancy Wyse, cello student and the Society’s Vice-President. “Check us out. You might find PAMDA matters to you too!”