Former students are organizing a music fundraiser to help McNally Smith College of Music faculty and staff who recently lost their jobs.
Less than a week after the college announced it was closing and that staff would not receive their final paychecks, several alumni decided to help raise money for their mentors via a music benefit on Wednesday and through an online donation.
“Everybody at McNally is out of a job, and it’s the holiday season,” said Elyse Barnard, one of the organizers.
Lauren Verhel, another organizer and former student, said she wanted to give back to her mentors.
“The school also did so much for the city of St. Paul, so it’s a real loss,” Verhel said.
Barnard, a local musician and McNally alumna, said the Wednesday night event will take place at Gluek’s Restaurant and Bar in Minneapolis. Tickets are $10 per person, but free to all McNally administration, faculty and staff.
The program will feature special performances from former faculty members Adam Levy and Erin Schwab. College President Harry Chalmiers will say a few words.
A local college is also helping students make the best of the unfortunate situation.
On Thursday evening, St. Paul College will offer McNally Smith students an information session on how to transfer to the community and technical college.
“We need to care for our students in St. Paul, and we’ll do everything we can to help these students complete,” said Dr. Rassoul Dastmozd, president of St. Paul College.