South Whidbey school music programs ring in the holidays with annual fundraiser

Students from South Whidbey High School Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble and Choir are knocking on the doors of businesses and homes this month in an effort to raise money for their music programs.

Chris Harshman directs students Claire Burns on clarinet

Students from South Whidbey High School Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble and Choir are knocking on the doors of businesses and homes this month in an effort to raise money for their music programs.

The fundraising is part of the group’s annual poinsettia sale to support the music programs at South Whidbey High School. Students will be selling poinsettias and mistletoe around the community through Oct. 27. Purchased plants will be delivered Dec. 3 to 5.

The money raised will help each program with scholarships and travel expenses for the 87 students to travel and perform at music festivals around the region. It will also help cover the expense of guest instructors, new music and to repair and purchase instruments.

High school music teacher Chris Harshman said the sale is important for students. It’s one of the smaller programs in the state, but the bands participate in festivals with larger schools of more than 1,300 enrolled students. The programs need an array of money to participate in regional and national music festivals, he said.

“Being able to share other students’ performances and have the opportunity to compare and contrast is helpful for students,” he said.

“Our numbers might be smaller, but our quality isn’t,” Harshman said. “We have a strong tradition of a superior band program.”

Heidi Klein, a senior saxophone player, is in both Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band. She said the trips are one of the best parts of being in the program. She enjoys getting to know musicians in other schools and learn from them.

“It’s nice to compete with some of the biggest bands in the state,” she said.

Senior Benjamin Nerison said he enjoys competing because sometimes South Whidbey performs better than the larger schools.

Nerison, who plays the trumpet, said his plan is to just go out and sell as many plants as he possibly can.

He said he hopes the community supports the music program as it means a lot to students, he said.

Frank Worster, president of the Performing Arts Boosters, said he hopes this fundraiser takes some of the burden off families who fund music trips.

“This is what makes the music program special, going on these trips. It’s important for students to experience different music and performances from other groups,” he said.

The students are seeking participation from every business on the South End in addition to organizations and residents.

The Jazz Band will travel to the University of Idaho in Moscow for the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in February. The band came back successful from the festival last year having won the large ensemble category and the combo category. Wind Ensemble will attend the Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festival in Vancouver, Wash. in April. The Wind Ensemble consistently earns superior ratings at the local and regional festivals they attend, Harshman said.

South Whidbey’s music programs owe much of its success to the support of South Whidbey. He said there is a great  appreciation here for the arts, as well as overwhelming generosity for its students.

The poinsettias are available for $12 and mistletoe is $8. To order call 360-321-2095 or 360-321-2874.

 

More in Life

Mucking about for clams

‘Digging for Dinner’ a popular Sound Water activity

Scorch is a play about gender identification showing at Outcast’s black box theater on the Island County fairgrounds June 13-17. It’s a one-person play, performed by Carmen Berkeley. Director and co-producer Ty Molbak went to middle school in Langley was was active in Whidbey Children’s Theater. Both will be seniors at Rutgers University in the fall. One scene in the play “Scorch” portrays the main character looking into mirrors and wondering what others see.
‘Scorch’ looks at first love and ‘gender fraud’

Irish play revolves around one character’s confusion

Whidbey Island Garden Tour highlights five homes

Tickets still available for Saturday event

Jordan Shelley, 18, stands outside his home in Greenbank. He recently received the Sydney S. McIntyre Jr Scholarship from Skagit Valley College to go toward his tuition at the University of Washington. Shelley will pursue his childhood dream of becoming a doctor. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News Group
SVC grad earns full 2-year scholarship to UW

A lot has changed since Jordan Shelley was 7 years old and… Continue reading

Couple creates Whidbey’s first commercial cidery

Driftwood Hard Cider taps into growing market

‘Slowgirl’ explores the human condition in intimate setting

Even with significant professional credentials, the latest offering from Whidbey’s Outcast Theatre… Continue reading

Homegrown ‘Frijole Friday’

Fundraiser features student crops, cooking

Scott Swenson, a National Park Service carpenter, puts the final pieces in on a ramp on the newly restored Pratt Sheep Barn. The 1930s barn will serve as a classroom one it officially opens in July. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News Group
Historic sheep barn repurposed

Tucked away on the Pratt Loop Trail, a formerly dilapidated 1930s sheep… Continue reading

‘Art with a Message’

Students worldview a kaleidoscope of visions

Hometown Hero: Lewis Pope

Once every year a South Whidbey senior is chosen by the South… Continue reading

Shhh…it’s a surprise party for old-timer Bill Lanning

Friends, customers invited to celebrate former owner of Bill’s Feed Tack

New look for familiar frozen treat

Whidbey Island Ice Cream gets a modern makeover