School music matters | Letter

Supporters of our Orcas School Music Program filled the school’s Old Gym for the 20th Anniversary School Benefit Concert presented by our community’s Music Advocacy Group on March 5.

Our community is rich in its support of the arts. This concert is both a means of raising funds, a celebration of school music and a heart-felt “Thank You” to all of you who so generously support the school music program. Over 50 middle and high school students performed in the Old Gym. Included were Orcas School’s middle and high school award winning groups, strings ensembles directed by Pamela Wright and band ensembles directed by Darren Dix. Also on the program were the Community Band co-directed by Karen Speck and Jim Shaffer-Bauck, the Orcas Choral Society directed by Marianne Lewis and the Island Sinfonia co-directed by Ned Griffin and Jim Shaffer -Bauck. All three groups have played in all 20 annual School Benefit concerts.

In recent years your financial contributions, through MAG, have helped provide instruments including: a high quality xylophone, percussion instruments for the pep band, student-size cellos and violins and professional enrichment opportunities for teachers . Also of critical importance to the program is help with bus transportation costs, enabling student groups to participate in regional honor bands and orchestras, festivals and competitions in which they consistently earn top awards.

These opportunities are available to our students because of the interest and the generosity of all of you in the community who know that music enhances learning and brings enrichment for a lifetime.

The Music Advocacy Group is happy to announce that this year’s concert donations total a little over $8,000 so far – and there is still time to reach its $10,000 20th Anniversary goal. If you missed the concert, you can still contribute to support of the school music program. Your donation can be mailed to: MAG (checks made out to MAG) PO Box 1171 Eastsound , WA 98245. Or through our website:

With our thanks again for your encouragement and generous support of the School Music Program!

Catherine Pederson

President, Music Advocacy Group