2022 Annual Report

Members of the BowDacious String Band and C4A’s African drumming instructor teamed up with the community old-time jamming group to perform at the C-U Pride Fest in September, 2023.

Recent research demonstrates that music participation is part of the deep structure of the human mind, a birthright that fosters health, creativity, intelligence, and social cohesion.

C4A strives to offer some of the best music instruction in our region, providing our community with the musical tools to claim our collective birthright in style! 

To fulfill our mission to create a stronger community through shared experience with music, we offer individual lessons, performance ensembles for kids and adults and upper teens, group classes and special events, serving an average of 250-300 people per week. 

Please read on for some highlights from the 2022-23 season and details about our finances.  

Teaching artists: Our faculty, the cornerstone of our school, is always a featured highlight! C4A has been fortunate in attracting and retaining an extraordinarily high-caliber and artistically diverse faculty. Our teaching artists are all professional musicians who live and work here in our community, most have advanced music degrees and/or extensive professional playing experience, and all are dedicated to their students. They pop up everywhere playing jazz, classical, folk, rock, tango, country, klezmer, fusion, and more!  Learn about them here. 

A current area of focus is children’s programming.

Being able to play in a group at the early stages of musical development is a gift that children who join our ensembles will have with them for life!

Our flagship ensemble, the BowDacious String Band, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this season!

New programming for kids includes a Kids’ Rock Band, the Fledgling Jam for preschoolers and their families, and a new Kids’ Open Mic


In December 2022, members of the Olde Music Group and African Drumming Ensemble shared a performance at “Market in the Square.”

Programming for adults and upper teens 

Our ensembles continue to be a fantastic way for adults and upper teens to to build relationships and express creativity! We give back to the community by creating stronger, happier people and by performing for charitable and civic events.

We have a variety of ensembles:  African Drumming, Country MusicCretaceous Band, Jazz Band, and Olde Music Group.



Special events help fulfill our mission. 

Playing fiddle music attracts all ages!

Building on the success of pre-Covid Old-Time Jam weekends, we held our 2nd annual “Fiddle and Jam Weekend in June, 2023.  A grant from Urbana Arts and Culture and a sponsorship from Techline helped us provide quality experiences at little or no cost for the entire weekend! 

We collaborated with fiddle specialists from around the state, local players, Rose Bowl Tavern, Channing Murray Foundation, the Urbana Dance Company, and the Urbana Country Dancers to present a weekend of free community jams, low-cost workshops for kids and adults, free performances celebrating the relationship between fiddle music and dance, and a free family contra dance. 



In May, 2023 we held our 3rd annual “Cheap Instrument Sale,” offering donated instruments to the public at very low prices.

This year’s sale was an unqualified success: we placed over 100 donated instruments into the hands of people who want to play them!



Our resources and expenses 

We raised tuition rates across the board as of September 1, 2023. C4A had not had a rate increase since 2018; our school needed increased funds to offset the inflation of our expenses, and our instructors were also experiencing the effects of inflation and overdue for a raise.

We have always been fiscally conservative, and this increase allows us to continue to work within our means. 

2022 Income: In 2022 our operating budget was $256,418.

$203,010 from programming accounts for 79.2% of our total income.

Our generous donors contributed $27,811 during the year, 10.8% of our income.

We received grants from the Illinois Arts Council Agency for a total of $16,200, and a grant from Urbana Arts and Culture for $3000. Combined grants were 7.5% of our income.

The remaining income—2.5% of our total—was from facilities and instrument rentals, and sale

2022 Expenses: Total expenses in 2022 came to $240,242.

The biggest part of our expenditures are for programming, staffing, and occupancy.

Programming accounted for 58.5% of total expenses, including teacher payments and supplies totaled $140,564 in 2022, with $1560 in scholarships awarded.

19.7% of our expenses go toward paying administrative and bookkeeping staff, a total of $39,743.

Occupancy, including rent and utilities, comes to 16.5 of our expenses, $47,223

Businness expenses make up the remining 5.3%, iincluding $4952 for office supplies and technology, and $744 for advertising. The balance of our business expenses consists of insurance, bank fees, licensing, professional membership dues, and bad debt.

Please feel free to contact us if you would like more information about what we do!