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  • Writer's pictureNathan Bellott

The Closing of Turtle Bay Music School Part 3: "The New York Times"

Updated: Dec 6, 2020

See also : The Closing of Turtle Bay Music School Part 1: “Waking Up From a Dream Come True” The Closing of Turtle Bay Music School Part 2: “Numbers & Questions” There’s a lot happening in the world to be concerned with today. Before the world stopped turning, the biggest cause of sadness for me was the closing of my beloved school, Turtle Bay Music School in NYC. I have written extensively on here in two parts about what happened and what I thought happened.

In early January I posted a long essay here about what I had been researching on the school- financials, real estate, motives etc. I went deep. I researched and learned more about real estate than I ever wanted to, I even spent time in the office of the city register navigating records like a detective. On the 13th floor of 66 John St. way downtown are all the deeds in NYC that aren’t digitized (pre-1966.) The one guy staffing the place said “What are you looking for? We have everything dating back to the mid-1600’s.”

That post (which at first I was hesitant to make public) generated a lot of response on FB and out in the internet. A week or so after, I was contacted by the New York Times about what I had written. Over the course of the last 3 months I have worked really hard with a few reporters at the Times to connect certain dots, to look under rocks, to search for people etc. Today the article is out on the NYT website. It will run in Sunday’s print edition in the Arts & Leisure section.

I’d like to thank the Times, specifically Kevin Flynn and James Barron at the arts desk for caring about this story, even as current events seem to minimize its importance. It is my hope that people read this and surmise what was really going on. Was TBMS’ failure do to “people not stepping up” in the donor world? Or was it miscalculation after miscalculation, blunder after blunder and a general disinterest? People reading this who aren’t so attached to TB like myself will be able to read between the lines.

Even though it was a dark quest, I learned so much about Turtle Bay history, the long history of a neighborhood music school started in a 2 room apartment in 1925 and served 10’s of thousands of New Yorkers and beyond over 90 years. I think about it all the time and how it changed my life. Read it for yourself:

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