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Music school offers financial aid

Mark Woerpel of Ellsworth (Submitted photos) 1 / 2
Mike Arturi2 / 2

Beginning this fall, financial aid is available to high school age and younger students interested in attending the Universal Music Center, a nonprofit music education program located on the campus of the Anderson Center in Red Wing.

The Jones Family Foundation awarded funds to the 501c3 organization that is beginning its third year of operation this fall. The amount of aid will be determined based on family size and income. Aid will not pay the full cost, but is intended to make attendance possible for families under financial stress.

“It’s going to go to students who exhibit a desire to be a part of this program and to learn music,” founder/teacher Mike Arturi said. “They don’t have to be virtuosos or to plan a future as professional musicians,” he added.

He will personally interview applicants.

Arturi, a professional musician, offers drum lessons. Lessons also are offered in instruments, including strings and brass, along with song writing, recording techniques and music theory. Students can use their own instruments or the school can provide them.

The center is an ongoing education program scheduled in 12-week cycles.

Each student is offered a private lesson every other week, a monthly music workshop and a live performance opportunity. They can perform as soloists, in small groups or as part of bands at a variety of venues ranging from community festivals to baseball games. A dozen or more will present a free concert at 2 p.m. this Sunday at the Goodhue County (Minn.) History Center.

Currently the program has about 80 students ages five to 67; most are young people, but there also are several adults taking lessons. Instruction is tailored to the individual student, Arturi noted.

“You learn the music you want to play at your own pace in a positive, creative environment,” he said.

The program has two additional instructors this fall who teach a variety of instruments:

--Mark Woerpel of Ellsworth, a staff writer and studio musician for a Minneapolis-based company. His main instrument is guitar and he also teaches bass guitar, mandolin, Native American flute, ukulele, banjo, piano and beginning harmonica, trombone and saxophone, plus songwriting and recording.

The award-winning musician has toured worldwide, performing and recording with Blackfoot and with Zack Wylde, who is Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist. His CD, “Warp Drive,” is available on I-Tunes. Locally, he performs as a member of the rock band Them Pesky Kids.

--Paul Holland of Lake City (Minn.), senior band director at Lake City Lincoln High School. His main instrument is piano/keyboards and he also teaches trumpet, trombone, baritone, clarinet, saxophone, French horn, music theory and songwriting.

A veteran educator, he performs with the Madison Scouts in Drum Corps International and has played with the bands Backlash and American Flyer for more than 25 years.

Arturi, who is the school’s executive director, has been performing with acclaimed artists his entire career, has been drumming for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band The Lovin’ Spoonful since 1996.

Families interested in applying for financial aid should contact Arturi at 651-301-9223. More information about the program is available online at