Sending graduates off with music in their hearts

by the Music Advocacy Group.

The Music Advocacy Group wishes to congratulate the OIHS class of 2023. While each graduate has benefitted from school music education in elementary and middle school, seven musicians continued to participate in band through their senior year, joining zero-hour class daily at 7:15 a.m. We celebrated these musicians at the final All-Band concert on June 1.

Congratulations to graduating musicians Quin Wildman-Gossett, Elijah Giampietro, Finn Rubottom, Justin Krisch-Derr, Logan Jones, Ryan Krisch-Derr, and Paxton White who have demonstrated their tenacity, staying in the music program through online music classes when required, steadily developing skills and confidence. We have watched them perform in virtual and live school concerts and at numerous off-island festivals and competitions.

As they prepare for their next adventures, we hope they will carry with them their love for music and the strong friendships they have made in the program. They are truly our ambassadors for why school music matters!

The school music program continues to nurture outstanding student musicians. Orcas Middle School Strings received a Gold Performance Award in the Washington- American Strings Teachers Association orchestral competition held at Western Washington University in March. Over 2,400 students from across the region participated in this event.

The Orcas Middle School Band and the High School Band received ‘Excellent’ ratings at their regional competitions and participated in clinics led by the Director of Bands from the University of Puget Sound and University of Montana, respectively.

We cannot thank our school music supporters enough for your partnership. In the last four years, MAG has contributed $94,420 to the Orcas Island school music program, which serves 290 K-12 students every week. The music program you have helped sustain has enriched students’ lives both in school and far beyond the music classroom as we have shared in our Spring newsletter, available on our website at

Wishing all a wonderful summer break.