Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Symphony marches in to help band's trip

September 13, 2007

The Enquirer
BY JANELLE GELFAND

The Lakota West marching band is getting a little help from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in its quest to be Southwest Ohio's first high school band to march in the Rose Parade on New Year's Day.
The Cincinnati Symphony is pitching in to give an unprecedented concert next month to benefit a public school band program.
Paavo Järvi will take the orchestra out of Music Hall for the first regional concert in his six-year tenure for a fundraiser on Oct. 9 to benefit the Lakota West and Lakota East band programs. Proceeds from the concert, to be held at Lakota Freshman School in West Chester, will help 300 members of the Lakota West Marching Firebirds make the 2,000-mile trip to Pasadena to play in the Tournament of Roses Parade.
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The concert will also help fund Lakota East's band trip to Hawaii to perform in the November 2008 Waikiki Holiday Parade and perform at the USS Missouri Battleship. The parade coincides with the 67th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The orchestra says it is the first time it has performed a fundraising concert for a school music program. It's a "symbolic show of support," Järvi said Wednesday in Music Hall, where he'll open the symphony's 113th season this weekend.
"Music departments in schools are a dying breed in a way, and I think it's very important to support them," he says.
When the orchestra approached them, "we were flabbergasted," says Lakota West's band director, Greg Snyder.
"The symphony has been a role model in our band program," says Snyder. "Many symphony musicians teach our kids in private lessons. To have Paavo in our little auditorium - it's a far cry from Music Hall. It's just unbelievable."
Snyder says the band students think "it's really cool" that the orchestra will be performing music by Richard Wagner because, coincidentally, the band has been marching to the German composer this fall.
"Our fall competition show is 'Music of Wagner,' that we're doing out on the field. The kids are really excited to find out how it's supposed to sound," Snyder says.
Band boosters have raised about $80,000 toward a $400,000 goal in order for the Firebirds to play in Pasadena, says Rick Shively, chairman of the Rose Fund. The total cost of the trip, including $154,000 in new sousaphones and other instruments, is $1 million.
Private sponsors are underwriting the approximate $5,000 in costs to transport the Cincinnati Symphony's musicians and musical instruments to West Chester. The concert will be hosted by the Lakota Upbeat Club Inc., the parent band-booster club.
The Lakota Local School District serves West Chester and Liberty Townships, and is the seventh-largest public school district in the state, with enrollment of more than 18,000 students.

1 comment:

Going2Oahu said...

It's absolutely wonderful to see the Symphony taking this project on. We say mahalo nui loa and wish you aloha in your efforts. http://blog.going2oahu.com