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Donor Spotlight: Debbie Schmid

November 30, 2023

Meet Songbook Supporter, Debbie Schmid!

Debbie attended the Foundation’s National Archives Day event in June of 2022 and has been a friend of the Foundation ever since. After attending Songbook Academy® and taking a behind-the-scenes tour of the Songbook Library & Archives, Debbie and her family decided to become monthly donors.


The Schmid family supports the mission of the Songbook Foundation from their home in Ohio and follow along with our virtual programming whenever possible.


Monthly donors play a pivotal role in advancing the Songbook Foundation’s mission providing consistent support that empowers us to preserve the past and inspire the future.


Continue reading below to learn more about Debbie’s passion for the Songbook!


What inspires you to give to the Songbook Foundation?

I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, but I always liked music from the 1930s and 1940s. I listened to my father’s albums of artists like Glen Miller, The Andrew Sisters, and Rosemary Clooney. Of course, none of my friends were listening to this music and, even today, most aren’t aware of what the Great American Songbook is.


Today’s popular music got its start with the music of the early 20th century, and those songs, songwriters, and performers shouldn’t be forgotten. That is why the Songbook Foundation is so important.


Tell us how you discovered the Songbook Foundation?

I have been a fan of Michael Feinstein for a long time, so my awareness of The Great American Songbook and the Foundation is through him.


How does your appreciation for Michael Feinstein as an artist connect with your passion for the Songbook Foundation?

I first discovered Michael when I was researching George Gershwin for a music class I was taking in 1998, Gershwin’s centennial year. The more I listened to Michael, the more interested I became in the history of this music. I then read Michael’s first book, Nice Work If You Can Get It, and was fascinated by the stories in it. I have learned so much from him. And I am continuing to learn from the Foundation’s archives and exhibits.


You are a generous monthly supporter! What led you to choose this method of giving?

I don’t remember thinking too much about it. Monthly giving just seemed very convenient.


What Songbook Foundation experience or show has been your favorite thus far?

Visiting the archives was a great experience. Seeing those artifacts is something I’ll always remember. But when it comes to performances, I’d have to say the Songbook Academy concert was my favorite. Those kids are amazing! I think the Songbook Academy is one of the most important programs offered by the Foundation. 


We know that many supporters enjoy monthly giving because of the convenience, have you experienced that as a monthly supporter?

Yes, it’s very convenient.


How easy was it to set up your monthly gift?

It was very easy. We did it through the website.


Monthly donations incur fewer operational costs to make an impact on our mission. How does it make you feel to know your donation is also supporting our administrative team’s day-to-day work as well as celebrating this treasured era of music?

We decided on monthly giving because it was convenient for us, so it’s nice to know that it also helps save administrative costs.  It makes us feel that our donation is going further to help the Foundation.


We have to know… Any Songbook favorite songs or artists?

Meredith Willson’s The Music Man has always been a family favorite. And, of course, Rosemary Clooney. I think those of us in southwest Ohio feel a certain connection to her because of where she grew up.


As for songs, my “favorites” keep changing. I like listening to songs that aren’t heard very often. For example, two that are current favorites of mine are “I Won’t Send Roses” by Jerry Herman, and “Two for the Road” by Henry Mancini and Leslie Bricusse.


We appreciate supporters like Debbie, whose standing monthly gift ensure the sustained impact of our efforts. Join Debbie by visiting our website and choosing “recurring gift”.


All new and increased gifts between now and December 31, 2023 will be matched up to $5,000! Double your impact.


Thank you, Debbie!