Big Things Happening at RME

Tyson Danner, new Executive Director of the RME

The River Music Experience has named Tyson Danner as its new Executive Director. The nonprofit music organization has provided educational programs and concerts in its downtown Davenport location since 2004. To honor 15 years of serving the music community of the Quad Cities, RME will kick off a 15 day fundraising campaign.

Since September, Danner has acted as RME's Interim Executive Director through a partnership with Quad City Arts, where he has served as the Community Arts Director since 2016. Previously, he was the Theatre Coordinator at Davenport Junior Theatre. He is also brings nonprofit executive leadership experience to the role, having served as founder and Artistic Director of the QC Theatre Workshop from 2012-2018. Danner will continue to direct Quad City Arts community art programs through the summer.

Danner, who holds a degree in music from St. Ambrose University, looks forward to returning to his musical roots.

"Through my years as a participant in school music programs, a private vocal coach, a pianist, a choir director, and a music director for various local theatre groups," Danner said, "I have witnessed the life-changing power of music firsthand. I'm honored to lead an organization that reaches so many people with the power of music."

Tracy Schwind, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Human Resources for Northwest Bank and long-time RME board member, has served as the organization's chairperson during this transitional year. "Our partnership with Quad City Arts proved to be the perfect transition," Schwind said. "Tyson led us through a great strategic planning process, which has resulted in exciting growth. I am very pleased with the momentum we have as an organization, and I'm happy that Tyson will continue to move us forward as our Executive Director."

Rene Gellerman, President & CEO of United Way of the Quad Cities and current Vice-Chair of the RME board, says "Tyson's collaborative leadership and visionary outlook are a perfect fit for moving the organization into the future. Tyson sees the RME as a community connector and collaborator. Whether it's identifying ways we can support the local music sector, be a good ally in the region's growing music scene, or expanding partnerships that will result in more Quad Cities kids getting unique music education experiences, Tyson keeps people, impact, and mission top of mind."

From April 26th through May 10th, the RME will conduct a flash fundraising campaign to raise $15,000 in 15 days. Each day on its website and social media channels, the organization will tell a different story of the impact and outcomes of its programs.

The RME has seen massive expansion of its programs in recent years. This year, the nonprofit will reach more than 22,000 people with educational programming, host over 100 concerts for more than 10,000 adults & youth, and create over one million dollars of local economic impact.

RME's campaign materials state: "In a world that is constantly trying to divide us, music brings us together. If you have ever been to a concert and stood next to hundreds of other cheering fans, you know this is true. If you have ever seen a student discover a passion for playing an instrument in the school band, you know this is true. If you have ever gotten goose bumps after hearing your favorite song come on the radio, you know this is true. Now more than ever, our community needs the transformative power of music."

The campaign will support all of RME's educational programs, including:
Let's Band Together free school band and rock band instrument loans to students
Kidstock and Winter Blues rock camps
Private lesson tuition support
Free community workshops like Songwriters Round Table, Guitar 101, and Drum Circles
Classes and educational programs at Mid-City High School, Blackhawk Area Special Education Center, ARC of the Quad Cities, and dozens of schools and community groups

Donations can be made at rivermusicexperience.org/donate

Bret Dale instructs two young students in guitar basics