The Disclosures Receive The 2015 Cooperative Spirit Award

11741170_10205935785327372_6220343039667312722_oThe Disclosures, Chad Helminak and Christopher Morris, were presented with the 2015 Development Education (DE) Program Cooperative Spirit Award last week at a special reception during the annual DE Workshop, July 9-11, 2015 in Denver, Colo. in conjunction with CUNA and the World Council of Credit Union’s “CU in Denver” event. The award is given annually to “a group of individuals for a project that has made a significant difference to a community, school, a credit union or the greater credit union movement.”

Over 100 Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs) gathered at the recent workshop to help the National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation) present the award. In the announcement from the Foundation, The Disclosures were recognized for the following:

  • Making a significant difference to youth and the greater credit union community by engaging in the credit union difference in a completely new and unique way using their own talents and gifts.
  • Captured the attention of media, blogs, speaker bureaus, unique entertainment spots that always brought positive attention to the role of credit unions and financial education.
  • Created lasting videos, albums and songs to be leveraged by various credit union groups.
  • Known for being fresh, new, unique, inspirational, fun and impactful.

“When we met in 2009 at DE Training, we had no idea that this little band would take us on a journey from coast to coast, playing in Estes Park, school assemblies, conferences and all types of events,” said band member Christopher Morris. “But it’s been a great trip. And it’s easy when you are singing about something you are passionate about. And for us, that’s credit unions and financial education.”

“It’s very meaningful to be recognized by our peers, especially when we’ve been on hiatus for a while,” said band member Chad Helminak. “This honor has reminded us of how impactful and enjoyable our musical efforts has been, and maybe that it’s time to recharge and ramp up those efforts in the near future.”

Nominations were submitted by CUDEs and winners were chosen by the 2015 CUDE Awards Committee, which consisted of the following individuals:

  • Debbie Wege, BECU;
  • Larry Blanchard, CUNA Mutual Group;
  • Brandon McAdams, Coastal FCU; and
  • Lily Newfarmer, Tarrant County’s CU.

More information about the award and other honorees is online here.

The Disclosures wish to thank our friends and family, everyone at the National Credit Union Foundation, the Wisconsin Credit Union League, and anyone who either bought our music, shared our videos, or hired us to come out and play at their event!



The Disclosures on Hiatus – An Open Letter to Our Fans

Four years ago, we set out to make the world’s first album featuring songs about credit union history and philosophy. We made a “dream big” list of crazy venues we’d like to play, audiences we’d like to entertain and those “wouldn’t it be cool if…” ideas.

We set lofty goals and were surprised to find that two years later, we had accomplished everything we wanted to and then some. So we sat down and came up with another “dream big” list, this time setting our sights on making a financial education album for kids unlike anything else in existence. Looking back at our list now, we realize that we’ve again achieved everything we initially set out to do.

Over the past four years, we’ve played our music at almost every type of venue open to a credit union band with audiences made up of thousands upon thousands of credit union employees, members, and kids at credit union chapters, staff trainings, league annual meetings, national conferences (including crazy venues like Disney World and Estes Park), school assemblies across the country, and many more events we felt fortunate to be a part of.

The Disclosures have been interviewed for newspapers and TV, featured on websites such as the Huffington Post, and our YouTube music videos have earned over forty thousand views. We’ve busked on streets, damaged instruments and soundboards, spent countless hours driving or being delayed in airports, and used many vacation days just to play our music and hopefully inspire others to learn more about credit unions and personal finance.

We feel extremely fortunate to have all of these experiences and meet so many amazing people along the way, and there’s only one question we ask ourselves now: “what’s left for a credit union rock band to do in this world?”

The answer is: take a hiatus. This is not a break-up as we want to leave the door open for whatever the future brings in terms of opportunities and our own ideas. We’re also still close friends and you won’t find any scandals behind this band “break up” (sorry TMZ!). We both have plenty of dreams and creativity left and are now just making new goals and plans that don’t tie into “The Disclosures” model.

The Disclosures want to thank everyone over the years who have supported our efforts and invited us to perform. There are simply too many people to individually thank, but know that we could not have accomplished our dreams without you. Performing and creating our songs has brought us much joy, and we hope you feel the same.

Perhaps the last item on our “dream big” list is that we hope people will continue to stumble on our music in future years and ask: “wait, what the heck is this?”. Along with being slightly unusual, our music has always been intended to inspire education, humor and passion for what we believe in. Whether it’s a song about the cooperative principles or a pirate with irresponsible borrowing habits, we hope that always shines through.

It’s fitting that our last performance was for the Filene Research Institute’s 25th anniversary party, as Ed Filene has been a constant source of inspiration for us both. We have done our best to “keep purpose constant”, as Ed once said, and will continue to do so in whatever we do.


Chad and Christopher


The Disclosures Release “I Want, I Need” Lyric Video

The Disclosures – the Madison-based “musicians with a mission” – have released a new “lyric” video for “I Want, I Need”, which is from their recently released financial education album for kids.

> Click here for “I Want, I Need” Video

In the song “I Want, I Need”, The Disclosures discuss the difference between wants and needs to help kids manage their money better. Once kids learn the difference, it’s a great foundation for budgeting, saving, spending, etc. In fact, because the concepts on The Disclosures’ new kids album build on themselves,  it’s one of the first songs on the album.

In addition to this new video for kids, The Disclosures also recently released a video for “The Secret to Being Rich” and their popular “Thank My Piggy Bank” video was released in 2013. As with all of their songs and videos, The Disclosures hope that parents and teachers use these materials to spark conversations with kids about these very important topics

“The Secret to Being Rich” album is available for download on all major digital music stores such as iTunes, Amazon and many others. Physical CDs also can be purchased at, and The Disclosures also offer discounted bulk CD orders for financial institutions, schools or youth organizations. All ordering information and additional resources can be found on

Click here for more information about The Disclosures.

The Disclosures to Perform at Southeast Credit Union Conference & Filene’s Anniversary Party

We are pleased to announce two exciting shows this summer! First, we are performing all over at the Southeast Credit Union Conference & Expo in beautiful Orlando, Florida on June 11, 2014. We’ll be performing our musical breakout session, “Credit Unions Rock! Getting in Tune with our Roots and Philosophy,” performing a set of songs in the exhibit hall, as well as playing a special kids show in the evening. It’s shaping up to be a great event and the theme of the conference is “Living the Cooperative Principles the Credit Union Way” so it’s definitely a perfect fit for us!

> Click Here for More Information on the Event

In July, we are honored to be performing a set of live music for the Filene Research Institute’s 25th Anniversary Shindig in Madison, Wisconsin on July 15, 2014. Expect to hear some of our original songs, mixed in with some popular covers and some DJing of our favorite tunes.

> Click Here for More Information about the Event

Hope to see you at either event this summer! And of course, if you are ever interested in having The Disclosures perform at your next event, here is more information.




The Disclosures Release “The Secret to Being Rich” Video & Free Song for Financial Literacy Month

Kicking off National Financial Literacy Month, The Disclosures – the Madison-based “musicians with a mission” – have released a new video and free song download for “The Secret to Being Rich”, which is the title track off of their recently released financial education album for kids.

> Click here for “The Secret to Being Rich” Video

> Click here to download “The Secret to Being Rich” Song (free until April 30)

While other songs on their new album focus on financial literacy, the song “The Secret to Being Rich” is intended to teach kids that being ‘rich’ takes hard work and discipline, but that you can also be wealthy in many ways aside from how much money is in your wallet.

“This is one of our more serious songs for kids, but we think it’s also one of our best because it contains a message that gets lost in a lot of financial literacy instruction – that money is important, but it’s not everything,” said Christopher Morris, Disclosures band member.

Chad Helminak, the other member of The Disclosures, noted that “the title of the song and album can be initially jarring, but it’s only because we’re satirizing the ‘get rich quick’ schemes and distorted view of wealth kids might be see on TV and other places in today’s society.”

The “Secret to Being Rich” video features on-screen lyrics and outtakes from previous Disclosures videos such as the “Thank My Piggy Bank” video for kids that was released in 2013. As with all of their songs and videos, The Disclosures hope that parents and teachers use these materials to spark conversations with kids about these very important topics

“The Secret to Being Rich” album is available for download on all major digital music stores such as iTunes, Amazon and many others. Physical CDs also can be purchased at, and The Disclosures also offer discounted bulk CD orders for financial institutions, schools or youth organizations. All ordering information and additional resources can be found on

The Disclosures recently took their youth financial education songs on tour in Texas, playing live shows and assemblies for more than 1,000 K-5 students. Click here for a tour diary with pictures, videos and more.

Click here for more information about The Disclosures.

The Disclosures’ Texas Tour – 3 Days of Music, Money Lessons and Kids

auditoriamThey say everything is bigger in Texas and that just might be true, as we look back at our visit to the Lone Star State and our biggest tour yet! We had a fantastic time debuting our youth financial education music performances following the recent release of our new kids album, “The Secret to Being Rich.”

Our shows featured many of our financial education songs, as well as some fun discussion with students about savings and being careful with money. We played for over 1,000 students on the tour and while it’s hard to condense all of the awesome things that happened into one blog post, here’s our attempt at doing so!

Day 1: Beaumont, Nederland and Vidor, Texas – Sponsored by FivePoint Credit Union

The first day of the tour was a busy one, with a total of four shows lined up throughout the day. Two shows were for pre-K and 1st grade audiences and we played in school gymnasiums (one was even decked out in pirate flags since their school mascot was a pirate – perfect for our “Kidd Silver” song!). For the other two shows, we were fortunate to play in the very impressive Nederland School Performing Arts Center for large groups of 2nd and 3rd graders.

At both shows for the older group, we were asked to play encores of “Thank my Piggy Bank” as the kids sang and screamed along with the chorus. Our “smash hit” with kids made us feel like The Beatles for a brief second! Afterwards, we took pictures with the students and so many of them were excited to talk about their piggy banks and what they were saving for. We wish we had more time to talk with them all, but encouraged them to keep up the great work and talk with their parents, credit union and teachers about how to make their savings dreams come true.

We were lucky to also be joined by FivePoint CU’s mascot Starbit, who was a trooper and danced with us at every show. Click here to watch a video snippet from the arts center and here are some pictures from the day:



Day 2: Ft. Worth and Azle, Texas – Sponsored by Tarrant County Credit Union

After a flight to Ft. Worth, day 2 of the tour kicked off in a neat old school auditorium (pictured at the top of this post) where we played to a large crown of 3rd through 5th graders. This was followed by a fun Q & A session with the kids where we talked about more money tips, our musical backgrounds and how we are not, in fact, brothers.

The second show venue probably had the most elaborate stage set as it was a elementary school cafeteria decorated for a Valentine’s Day assembly. The school’s 3rd and 4th graders sat on the floor and had a great time singing and moving to our songs about money! Again, we were asked if we were brothers or cousins. Again, the answer was no.

Both groups proved to be excited and very ambitious about their savings goals. When we asked them what they were saving up for, their answers included “a house”, “a car” and “money for college tuition” — impressive, right? We led the kids through a quick exercise to demonstrate the difference between wants and needs and encouraged them to keep their dreams big while also being realistic, which we hope was helpful for the few kids who said they needed a Ferrari or a mansion!

More pictures are below:



Day 3: Dallas, Texas

The third and last day of the tour culminated with a performance at the Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation’s FOCUS Summit in Dallas. The conference is for financial education advocates (credit union professionals and others) and we got to kick it off with our interactive education session called “The Power of Song – Amping up Financial Education”. We played some of our new kids songs and shared insight on the creative process, experiential learning and the power of music and humor in education. It was also a lot of fun getting the adults to shout the infamous pirate “ARGH!” just like the kids had been doing the past two days (click here for a video snippet).

We were followed on the agenda by Jean Chatzky, bestselling author and financial editor of NBC’s Today Show, who we met afterwards and later that day, she even had some nice words to say about our performance on her Facebook page. Here are some pictures of the performance and The Disclosures posing with Ms. Chatzky afterwards:




Also, as a nice surprise, the local news was there (KTXD-TV) and we are featured in a segment about Jean Chatzky at 0:30 here:


All in all, our time in Texas was extremely gratifying and something we’ll never forget and we had tons of fun interacting with the students. One teacher said that after the show kids were “pumped” about savings and “singing their hearts out.” Another said she “so enjoyed the program” and her “class was singing it all day!” And Mandy Clayton with FivePoint Credit Union said:

“The Disclosures, Chad and Chris, are truly fabulous! They have an amazing way of bringing music with a mission of financial education that is fun for students and they don’t even realize they are learning.  It’s an awesome sound to hear elementary school students belting out songs about thanking my piggy bank and saving for their needs & wants, that’s when you know they really get it.”

Thanks again to FivePoint Credit Union and Tarrant County Credit Union for making this tour possible and taking good care of us (special thanks to Mandy and Tawna!). Also, big thanks to Courtney and the Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation for inviting us to their FOCUS Summit and let us “warm up” for Jean Chatzky!

Record Release Party Wrap-up


The Disclosures hosted their Record Release Party on December 20 at DreamBank in Madison. Snacks were had, laughs were shared and Christopher and Chad capped off the event by playing an acoustic set featuring a few new songs from their new album, The Secret to Being Rich, as well as some festive cover songs to celebrate the holiday season. The setlist included:

– Save!
– Blue Christmas
– Kidd Silver, The Savviest Pirate to Ever Sail the Seven Seas
– Christmastime is Here
– Won’t You Be My Money Buddy?
– Mele Kalikimaka
– Thank My Piggy Bank
– Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree

More pictures from the event can be viewed on our Facebook page.

Thanks to friends and family who traversed the snowy conditions and took a break from the holiday bustle to celebrate with The Disclosures at their record release party last week. And a big thank you to DreamBank and their great staff for hosting the party.

Hope you have a Happy New Year and we’ll see you in 2014!


New Financial Education Album Aims to Strike Chord with Kids

PrintTwo Madison musicians have released a financial education album for kids that introduces important money lessons through songs about pirates, superheroes and other non-sequiturs.

The album, called “The Secret to Being Rich”, features ten original songs for ages 10 and under that incorporate core financial literacy concepts including saving, responsible spending, the importance of charity, dangers of “too good to be true” advertising and even the basics of how loans work.

Furthermore, the album’s overall theme ties into its tongue-in-cheek title, which is meant to convey to kids that being ‘rich’ takes hard work and discipline, and that you can also be wealthy in friends, family and other things in life that can matter much more than the money in your wallet.

All songs were written by Chad Helminak and Christopher Morris, who perform as band “The Disclosures” outside of their day jobs within the credit union industry.

“We’ve found that music and humor can be very effective ways of reinforcing learning,” said Morris. “Since we both work closely financial education programs in our day jobs, we knew this was an important direction to take our music in and help a young audience learn about these topics.”

Morris and Helminak have also developed discussion topics for teachers and parents, as well as a classroom performance which they’ll be debuting in Texas elementary school tour in February, 2014.

“The Secret to Being Rich” album is available for download on all major digital music stores such as iTunes, Amazon and others. Physical CDs also can be purchased at, and The Disclosures will also be processing bulk orders of CDs at discount for purchase by financial institutions, schools or youth organizations. All ordering information and additional resources can be found on

Earlier this year, The Disclosures released “Thank My Piggy Bank,” the first single and video from the album. The video was filmed around town at the Madison Children’s Museum, Capitol Kids, and Summit Credit Union.

A record release party is scheduled for December 20th at DreamBank in Madison. Details are online here.

Click here for more information about The Disclosures.

The Disclosures’ Record Release Party Set for December 20th at DreamBank

DreamBank (image source: retail design blog)Come celebrate the release of The Disclosures’ new kids album, “The Secret to Being Rich,” at this fun and free event.

This is your chance to meet and hear The Disclosures (Christopher Morris & Chad Helminak) – musicians with a mission – and also purchase first print copies of their new album. The album has 10 songs that use music and humor to introduce lessons about money, savings, responsible spending and more.

Live acoustic performance at 6:30. All ages are welcome and encouraged to come!


Friday, December 20th | 6:00 – 7:30 PM
1 N. Pinckney Street
Madison, WI
(On Madison’s Capitol Square)

You can RSVP on Facebook here & hope to see you there!

DreamBank (image source: retail design blog)

Release Date & Tracklisting for The Disclosures’ New Kids Album


We’re happy to announce that our new kids album, “The Secret to Being Rich”, will be released worldwide on December 10, 2013. The album has 10 songs that use music and humor to introduce lessons about money, savings, responsible spending and more.

It will be the first of its kind and available where ever you download music digitally (iTunes, Amazon, Napster, etc). We will also be selling physical copies of the album on CD at shows/events where we perform as well as online at stores such as, Amazon and others.

Above is the back cover of the CD (in case you missed it, here’s the cover art). Thanks again goes to Lesley Clark from Sissybird Design for creating all the artwork for our album. Also thanks to Morriss Partee/Squirrel Trench Audio for his fantastic work mixing and mastering on the album.

Without further ado, here is the tracklisting for “The Secret to Being Rich”:

  1. Money, Moola, Dinero, Dough
  2. I Want, I Need
  3. Save!
  4. Won’t You Be My Money Buddy?
  5. The Tale of Kidd Silver, the Savviest Pirate to Ever Sail the Seas
  6. Thank My Piggy Bank
  7. Captain Smartmoney vs. Dr. Greedypants
  8. Spend, Save, Give
  9. Too Good to Be True
  10. The Secret to Being Rich

Look for more information coming soon on our record release party and other album-related news. We can’t wait to share our music with you!


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