They 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!
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 cdbaby.com, 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 thedisclosuresmusic.com.
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.
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
(On Madison’s Capitol Square)
You can RSVP on Facebook here & hope to see you there!
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 CDbaby.com, 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”:
- Money, Moola, Dinero, Dough
- I Want, I Need
- Won’t You Be My Money Buddy?
- The Tale of Kidd Silver, the Savviest Pirate to Ever Sail the Seas
- Thank My Piggy Bank
- Captain Smartmoney vs. Dr. Greedypants
- Spend, Save, Give
- Too Good to Be True
- 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!
We are pleased to release the first glimpse of our album art for “The Secret to Being Rich” slated to release in December, 2013! The forthcoming kids album uses music and humor to introduce lessons about money, savings and responsible spending.
We owe a huge thanks to Lesley Clark from Sissybird Design for putting together this wonderful front cover. She’s working on all of the album art for us and every bit of it looks amazing. Thanks Lesley!
What’s the album going to sound like? In case you missed it, on April 2nd, we released the song and video for “Thank My Piggy Bank”, the first single from the album. Stay tuned for the tracklisting and more details on our album between now and December. We can’t wait to share it with you!
In honor of International Credit Union Day, Credit Union Magazine is publishing a special bonus issue, which is dedicated to credit union rock stars – “ordinary people who are doing the extraordinary.” Forty-eight rock stars were selected based on their passion and drive to put bright ideas into action and champion the credit union ideal of “people helping people.”
The Disclosures were lucky enough to be included in the special issue and are honored to be recognized. We are in such great company as the issue is bursting with stories of amazing people from across the movement!
We can’t say this enough too – a huge THANK YOU to our employers, colleagues, family, friends and fans for your support and encouragement. You guys rock!
We wanted to let you know about two upcoming family-oriented shows around Wisconsin. They’ll both also be featuring our new and fun financial education songs for kids off of our forthcoming album “The Secret to Being Rich.”
First, we had so much fun playing at DreamBank on Madison’s Capitol Square as part of Make Music Madison this past summer, that we’ll be playing there as part of their “Family Saturdays” series. Here are the details:
Saturday, October 26, 2013 | 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
DreamBank – One North Pinckney, Madison, WI
Click Here for the event page on the DreamBank website for more information
We are also excited to be performing a session of our new songs at the Fox Cities Money Conference next month. This should be a great event as it’s a full-day financial education conference for youth and families in Appleton. Here are the details:
Saturday, November 3, 2013 | 8:30 am – 3:30 pm (we’ll most likely be playing mid-day)
11th Annual Fox Cities Money Conference – Fox Valley Technical College, 1825 N. Bluemound Dr., Appleton, WI
Click here for the event flyer for more information and registration
Hope to see you at either of those events!
The Disclosures are very excited to perform at the third annual Co-op Connection in Madison – a local “celebration of cooperatives and community” – alongside Pat McCurdy and David Landau. We played at the very first Co-op Connection in 2011 at the Monona Terrace and can’t wait to play this year as it is off the Capital Square Dane County Farmer’s Market!
The free event is hosted by Summit Credit Union and they’ll be joined at the event by local cooperatives sharing their stories. You can expect family activities, live entertainment, prize drawings, free product samples and more.
Saturday, October 5, 2013 | 8:30 am -1 pm | Martin Luther King Blvd in Madison, Wisconsin
We are slated to play at 9:25 am and 12:30 pm. The first set will be full of our new youth financial education songs so bring your kids! The second set will be made up of our original co-operative and credit unions songs mixed in with a few of our favorite covers.
Hope to see you there!
As you might have noticed, we’ve taken a little break from recording our forthcoming youth financial education album to play a few exciting shows in various places this summer.
First, we played at Capitol Kids and Dreambank on the capitol square in Madison as part of the first Make Music Madison, a city-wide celebration of music. We played a special set of kids music, including new songs we’ve been recording.
A few weeks later, we traveled to West Yellowstone in Montana to play at the Mountain Regional Credit Union Roundtable. We performed our “Credit Unions Rock! Getting in Tune with our Roots and Philosophy” education session for attendees and played some music after dinner at the historic Union Pacific Dining Hall. Combining some of the best acoustics we’ve heard in the hall with a great group made it an awesome experience.
We also were invited to perform at the fundraiser for CUNA Management School in Madison, which was a lot of fun. As a bonus, they gave us some glow bracelets and necklaces while we were performing. Also for the first time in the band’s history, Chad played electric guitar live.
Now the rest of our forthcoming album beckons, which we are looking forward to finishing writing and recording. All in all, we’re having a blast this summer and hope you are too!
We are pleased to announce that The Disclosures will be performing at the upcoming Mountain Regional Credit Union Roundtable taking place in beautiful West Yellowstone, Montana on July 9-11, 2013.
The event was developed for senior credit union management and board members from the following states: Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah.
On July 9th, we’ll be performing our music-driven “Credit Unions Rock! Getting in Tune with our Roots and Philosophy” session for attendees, which has been described as a credit union version of “VH1 Storytellers.” After dinner, The Disclosures will be the evening’s entertainment at the historic Union Pacific Dining Hall.
Hope to see you there!
First, what is Make Music Madison?
On Friday, June 21, music will be popping up all over Madison, in likely and unlikely places, to create one huge city-wide celebration of community. From 10am until 9pm, there will be 270 free performances. All types of music and all skill levels of local musicians will appear in parks, in front of libraries and fire stations, floating down the Yahara River, in front of the Children’s Museum, at Bernie’s Beach, and at one hundred other locations. Listings of all performances now are available at our interactive map at makemusicmadison.org, and soon will appear in Isthmus and on our Smartphone apps. Join in for the fun.
We’ll be performing an all-new set of our fun youth financial education songs from our forthcoming album, along with a few other kids classics. Madisonians have the chance to catch the set twice on the square:
See you there!
The Disclosures were lucky enough to chat with Mike Lawson at CUBroadcast recently to play our new youth financial education song “Thank My Piggy Bank,” talk about our new kids music and much more. Enjoy the interview!
Song is first single from forthcoming financial ed album for kids
Kicking off National Financial Literacy Month, The Disclosures – the Madison-based “musicians with a mission” – have released a new song and music video for kids called “Thank My Piggy Bank”, which introduces basic concepts of saving. This is the first single from The Disclosures’ forthcoming untitled financial education album for kids due to be released later this year.
“Our rock song breaks new ground combining music and humor to teach kids important lessons about money, savings and responsible spending,” said Disclosures band member Chad Helminak.
“It’s not just a song, it’s a teaching tool,” said Disclosure Christopher Morris. “Organizations can use the video for educational social media content and parents can download the song and watch the video with their kids.”
Since the release of their first album in 2011 entitled “(Hey, We’re) The Disclosures” – comprised of songs that focus on credit union history and philosophy – Christopher and Chad have presented highly-rated education sessions and music performances to credit unions, chapters, trade associations and vendors across the nation.
For their next project, The Disclosures have decided to go in a new direction and address a problem that continues to affect almost all consumers – personal finance.
Chad and Christopher work closely with a lot of financial education resources and realize the importance of teaching kids how to responsibly handle their finances. “Thank My Piggy Bank” is the first single from their next album, which they are currently recording. The pop/rock album – due to release in late 2013 – will be entirely focused on youth financial education, the first of its kind.
“Thank My Piggy Bank” was written and performed by The Disclosures and mixed and mastered by Morriss Partee/Squirrel Trench Audio. Video was directed by The Disclosures. Song lyrics are available here.
Connect with The Disclosures on Facebook to get the latest news about the band and their efforts to raise awareness of the need for youth financial education.
About the band: Christopher Morris and Chad Helminak are musicians with a mission based out of Madison, Wisconsin. Outside of their day jobs, they moonlight as the music duo “The Disclosures” and write songs and perform presentations about the importance of financial literacy and social responsibility. To learn more, visit thedisclosuresmusic.com.
We had such a great time playing in Washington, DC last week at a few events related to the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC). At both shows, we talked about our unique history as a “credit union” band and played a few songs. We also decided at the last minute to unveil a new song (“Thank My Piggy Bank”) from our forthcoming youth financial education album we are currently recording and the response was incredible! It makes us really excited at the new direction we are focused on. We can’t wait to release the album later this year!
The first show we played was at Clyde’s of Gallery Place for the Tom Connors Memorial Luncheon. This is a special event for alumni of the Credit Union Development Education (DE) Training Program and we were humbled to be on the agenda for the event. The band met at DE Training in 2009 and is a major reason why we’ve chosen (and been inspired) to write and perform songs about financial literacy, cooperatives and credit unions.
We also played at the Friends of the Foundation reception, a private reception held prior to the National Credit Union Foundation Dinner Presenting the Herb Wegner Memorial Awards. As you can see by the pictures, it was a formal event and we were so honored to be asked to perform and tell our story!
The Disclosures are pleased to announce that they’ll be in Washington, DC for the upcoming Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) and performing at two separate private events related to the conference.
First, the band will be at Clydes of Gallery Place on Saturday, February 23 for the Tom Connors Memorial Luncheon. Chad and Christopher will be performing a few songs and sharing their unique story at the special luncheon for Credit Union Development Education (DE) Training alumni. Click here for registration information.
On Monday, February 25, The Disclosures will be performing a few songs at the Friends of the Foundation Reception prior to the National Credit Union Foundation Dinner presenting the Herb Wegner Memorial Awards at the Grand Hyatt. This is an invitation-only reception for Foundation supporters.
Hope to see you at one of the events! Otherwise we are looking forward to meeting you at the conference!
Chris and Chad perform the “Theme Song from Estes Park”, which was a song originally performed at Estes Park, CO in 1934 as part of the infamous credit union meeting that sparked the national credit union system.
More information about the songs sung at Estes Park with lyrics can be found here.
A few pictures from our session at Estes Park, Colorado for a pre-conference event at the CUNA Community Credit Union & Growth Conference. Video to come soon!
The Disclosures are proud to announce that we will be performing at the famed Estes Park location as part of a pre-conference event for CUNA’s Community Credit Union & Growth Conference!
Estes Park is one of the most famous places in credit union history. It was a historic summit where nearly 100 credit union leaders met in 1934 after President Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) was formed at that meeting as well as the seeds for CUNA Mutual Group. In a letter to Edward Filene before the famous meeting, Roy Bergengren “I sincerely believe that what we are going to do at Estes Park will have extraordinary consequences.”
Aside from taking a tour of the nearby Stanley Hotel made famous from Stephen King’s The Shining, the pre-conference event will include an interesting tour of Estes Park focusing on the famous 1934 meeting. The tour will include a stop at the Estes Park Museum where we will learn about credit union history and see items from the founding of CUNA. We will take a group photo, restaging the historic Estes Park group picture (shown above).
After the tour, The Disclosures we’ll be performing a special “Estes Park Edition” of our Credit Unions Rock! Getting in Tune with our Roots and Philosophy education session.
Here are the session details: Revisit your credit union roots as The Disclosures provide a musically-driven overview of the origin of credit unions, their expansion across America and the cooperative principles they were founded on. In this one-of-a-kind musical session, you’ll learn about how it all began right in Estes Park, the site of the organization of CUNA. For the first time ever, hear The Disclosures perform a few of the songs from that historic moment in credit union history. This session is like a credit union version of “VH1 Storytellers.” As Christopher and Chad discuss, these topics are more relevant than ever to credit union staff, boards and members alike.
Hope to see you there!
You need to come to the Louisiana Credit Union League’s 2012 Annual Meeting & Convention on August 1-4, 2012.
With excellent education sessions, networking, golf tournament, social event on Friday night (“Friday Night Lights”), recognition awards and more…it’s bound to be an informative and memorable event
The Disclosures will be there too! You’ll see us on the general session stage introducing sessions and playing songs. Then, you’ll see us hosting the exhibitor luncheon. Plus, we’ll be performing both(!) of our education sessions on Friday.
If you are a young professional or interested in credit union history and philosophy, definitely check out our music-driven “Credit Unions in the Key of Awesome” session. Actually, it’s applicable to anyone in the industry, as it’s like a credit union version of “VH1 Storytellers”.
For those in marketing/communications or CEO/management, you might like our “Add More Cowbell to Your Credit Union Messaging” session. Among other things, we’ll be demonstrating the creative process of morphing credit union communications into creative, interactive messages that work well over social media and other channels.
Hope to see you in the Big Easy!
In the last few weeks, we played to some great audiences. First, we kicked off the picnic at the Credit Union Development Education (DE) Training in Madison to an audience of credit union professionals from across the United States, Africa and Scotland. Since the band was formed after meeting at DE Training, that event was pretty special for us to return three years later to play a few songs and talk about our journey and experiences as a credit union band.
The next week, we drove to Schaumburg for the Illinois Credit Union League Annual Convention to perform our education session “Credit Unions in the Key of Awesome.” Carla Day was in the audience and did a nice write-up afterwards at CU Chat Up. She also recorded a video of us performing “Credit Union History (Fact)” from our session. Enjoy:
Last week was probably the biggest week for us as we returned to the Wisconsin Credit Union League’s Annual Convention & Exposition as event emcees. We had fun and kicked off all the general sessions for the conference. We even played some live versions of “Building a Better World,” our song for Bank Transfer Day, and many others. We also did a special credit union history and philosophy session for the “Crashers” or young professionals at the conference. Oh, and we met baseball legend Rollie Fingers!
Click here for part of our live “Building a Better World” performance last week.
We had a great time sharing our music, passion and stories about what makes credit unions unique and powerful the last few weeks. Hope to see you at an event sometime soon!
Does your credit union organization have an event or staff meeting coming up? Check out our booking page to learn more about how we can rock out with you and your attendees/employees.
The Disclosures are excited to present/perform at the Credit Union Association of New York’s 2012 Annual Meeting & Convention:
Join us on June 7-10 at The Sagamore Resort on Lake George. For more info on the event, visit https://www.cuany.org/services/convention.
Hope to see you there! Inspiration awaits…
The Disclosures will be returning as event emcees for the Wisconsin Credit Union League Annual Convention on May 9-12, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin!
For more information on the event and to register, visit http://www.theleague.coop/convention.
Hope to see you out in the crowd!
Chad & Christopher gear up for their Illinois Credit Union League Annual Convention appearance:
Join us April 26-28, 2012 in Schaumburg! For more info on the Illinois Credit Union League Annual Convention, visit http://www.iculeague.org/2012AC.htm.
Hope to see you there!
Then you need to attend the premiere national event for your area – the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana on March 7-10, 2012.
It’s a great event filled with inspiring, informative, and thought-provoking focused sessions. Plus where else can you network with hundreds of your fellow marketing and business development professionals?
Oh, and the Disclosures will be there too! We’ll be performing our new education session “Add More Cowbell to Your Credit Union Messaging” on Thursday at the conference. It’s a repeating breakout session so you have two chances to come see us in the morning.
Hope to see you in The Big Easy!