Today we conclude our series on the history of the MSM. So, what has this long journey taught us? Who are we? What is a hero? We began by talking about the hero theme and how our past has shaped our identity but what does it all boil down to?
All of us, MSM or not, are at times a hero ourselves to someone somewhere. To our kids, our neighbors or a stranger on the street we each have moments of heroism. Whether through a kind word in passing or a generous heart each interaction is a chance at making an impact in the lives of those who’s path we cross. We are all at times a little bit Clark Kent and at other times a little bit Superman. We walk through our lives hiding special talents, inadvertent or not, and then at any given time and place we hop in a phone booth and come out a talented singer, dancer, poet, archer, juggler, comedian, mother, father, or mentor. You never know when the person next to you has some amazing talent to share with the world. Maybe it’s their ability to make people laugh and transcend the sadness in their day. Maybe it’s their ability to know the right thing to say at the right moment to give encouragement and hope. Maybe it’s their ability to create music that gives you a window into their soul and for a time transports you out of the everyday grind and allows you to feel things that you could not otherwise express in words. No matter what that hidden talent we all have the potential to use our talent, our ability, our POWER for good. We can elevate our community and we can give that moment of respite that we all at times desperately need.
We began this story with our heroine Marlys Greinke. She was a farm girl, a student, a wife, and a mother and when she shared her music it empowered others and made a meaningful impact. Music allowed her a platform to promote the inclusion of diverse and different backgrounds and be a catalyst for change in the established norms. She had a powerful influence on the principles that founded the MSM and how we examine the role we play in our community to this day. We heard from her son Ross earlier in the series talk about how he came back because he felt there “needed to be a Greinke” in the MSM. He was right in that we all need that spirit and that courage to love deeply our unique abilities and also know how to spread that love throughout our community through those abilities. Ross bookends a Greinke legacy in the MSM. From a young boy looking on at his mother’s efforts to found this organization to himself taking the mantle of President and continuing the efforts that she started and Lee labored over for decades, Ross has seen nearly 50 years of history pass. That bookend comes to a natural conclusion next Spring as Ross has announced that he will be leaving the MSM and enjoying a much-deserved retirement at the end of this concert season. He leaves the MSM without a Greinke in name but not without the spirit of love, inclusion, and commitment to our community that his mother started almost 50 years ago.
So, who are we?… We are you!! We are your friends, your family, your co-workers, your neighbors. We are the people you see every day in your city and suburbs, in your community, and on your block. We are a collection of people from right here in this community. We are an organic evolution formed out of a set of principles that have helped guide us in the right direction and learn how to use our abilities for good promoting diversity in our organization and inclusion in our community. After next Spring we may no longer carry the name Greinke in our ranks but we carry the spirit with which it infused our organization. It leaves a lasting legacy within the MSM that will outlive any name for as much as any name may influence an idea it takes a community to live up to it. We are known by many names but all share one home, MSM. So as we finish the latest chapter in our history perhaps the best way to end this story is with a line that has itself endured time long after the passing of its creator:
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
– William Shakespeare
As we approach 50 years of sharing our gift and living up to the expectations set before us we intend to be that rose to our community by any name be it stranger, neighbor, mother, father, or friend.
We thank you so much for following our series this summer and are excited as we begin our 47th season. Stay tuned for updates throughout the year on where you can find the MSM and other exciting news.
Thank you to all those who contributed information to make this story possible and to the Greinke family for all the archival information and letting us tell a small part of their family story. Finally, thank you to all of you our loyal fans and followers who have given so much support over the years.