Thank you from MAG | Letter

We want to thank everyone who was part of the MAG concert on Sunday, March 6, and helped us raise money to support the music program at the Orcas Public Schools. Thank you to the Orcas Choral Society, Orcas Island Community Band, Island Sinfonia, Orcas High School Band and Strings, Hilary Canty, Dick Staub, Dimitri Stankevich, Linda Slone, Susan Gudgell, Lynn White, Cindy Morgan, Jana Webb, Finn Rubottom, Alanna Lago, Steve Alboucq, Roger Sherman, Karen Key Speck, Jim Shaffer-Bauck, Ned Griffin, Victoria Parker, Chris Waage, Kahana Pietsch, Anthony Kaskurs, Pamela Wright, Darren Dix, the Orcas Island Fire Department and everyone who attended our concert or contributed to MAG. We would not be where we are without you and your support.

Many of you in the audience have been part of our audiences for the past 19 years, and you have seen how much our music program has grown. Nineteen years ago the Music Advocacy Group (MAG) was formed to help build a “shining star” music program. At that time we had a small band program at the public school and no strings program, and school music did not play a leading role in education at the Orcas Schools. Oh, how things have changed.

Every year MAG helps support the music program by advocating for a strong music department and by purchasing instruments and sheet music, and paying for contest trips, registration fees, continuing teacher education and other expenses to help make our school music program great. Today we have a thriving band and strings program in grades 5-12, choral music for grades 5-6 and general music education for grades K-4. Our high school band and strings doubled in size this year and promise to be even larger in years to come. Our students compete at regional contests with schools 10 times our size and judges consistently place our students at or near the top in these competitions. If you were at the March 6 concert you saw the standing ovations and what our kids are capable of.

We would not be where we are today without the Orcas Island community members who come to these concerts, without our generous community musician groups, without our excellent music teachers Pamela Wright and Darren Dix and without the dedicated students who pursue their musical craft.

If you were unable to attend the concert, but would like to make a contribution, you can mail a check to MAG at P.O. Box 1171, Eastsound, WA 98245. Or you can contribute directly at

Being in the audience of the MAG concert is like feeling the “heartbeat” of Orcas Island. Thank you for supporting MAG.

The Board of the Music Advocacy Group