Originally published in The Weekly Packet, August 31, 2017
A new home for over one million pieces of music
Bagaduce Music Lending Library celebrates
by Anne Berleant
The new Bagaduce Music Lending Library, home to over one million pieces of sheet music, was celebrated at an August 23 open house at its South Street campus. The two-story building joins the Performance Hall built last year on a campus now graced with a public garden of native plants, courtesy of Native Gardens of Blue Hill.
The event was bittersweet, as former board member, volunteer and donor Robert Marville had died the night before. He and wife Jan Marville had donated the South Street property to BMML, making its expansion possible.
“He’s a man to be remembered for his dedication and philanthropy to this community,” Executive Director Martina Herries said.
On the ground floor, shelves upon shelves of sheet music line up in boxes, alongside work areas, while the second floor holds more music, open space, and a conservation area. It is there that sheets of music are unstapled and hand-sewn, and a 100-year-old music press is used.
“It’s fabulous. It’s amazing what went into all of this,” Board Secretary Deborah Reinke said.
The library receives all of its music through donations, and sends music out all over the country and beyond.
“It comes in, and comes in, and comes in,” Board President Ellie Horwitz said, including “weird” pieces, like music for eight pianos and 32 hands. “I can’t tell you how often someone asks for something special, and we have it.”
The library is fueled by volunteers, who received much gratitude from Herries and Horwitz, including Kurt Stoll, who stepped up to be facilities manager of the move, and Betty Tiedemann, who “spent thousands of hours packing and unpacking music,” Herries said. Tiedmann was presented with the national President’s Volunteer Service Award for her “dedication and extreme service.”
The move “was a labor of love at first, and then it was just labor,” Herries noted.
“I’d like to thank you for hanging with it,” Blue Hill Selectman Jim Schatz said. “I know it didn’t happen overnight….This means a lot to the town, what’s happening here and will continue to happen.”
“We are looking to be a community hub of musical activity,” Herries said.
A barbecue, guided tours and a performance by Ellacapella completed the evening.