What: “Music Through the Ages” concert
When: 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22
Where: Jamestown High School Theater
Admission: $10 adults, $5 students, $25 family, at the door
Details: Jamestown community musicians perform, from high school through adult
More information: Facebook page Jamestown Public Schools Music Boosters or email [email protected]
Jamestown musicians will unite for an evening to present “Music Through the Ages” Sunday, Sept. 22, at Jamestown High School. The event will raise money for Jamestown Public Schools Music Boosters, which use the funds for music programs.
Michelle Weatherly, president of the JPS Music Boosters, said the group sponsors two concerts each year to raise money, one in the fall and one in the spring. The concert in the fall usually features Jamestown musicians in the community.
“It just kind of showcases how we carry music into adulthood,” she said.
Many of the adults who perform have been through the Jamestown Public School system in one way or another, she said, or are teaching at the University of Jamestown or Two Rivers Performing Arts School.
Expect a variety of music at the event, from classical to jazz and rock and from instrumental to vocal pieces. Some of the performers include Vocal Jazz from Jamestown High School, John Nyberg and Marin Rasmussen, Jason Kihle, Cheaper Than Therapy, the Rev. Steve Berntson, Steve Kuykendall, Richard Walentine and directors from Jamestown Middle School and Jamestown High School: Ken and Heather Aune, Jenny Michaelenko, Cheryl McIntyre, Brandon Bondley. About 12 acts are scheduled, she said.
Jamestown Public Schools Music Boosters formed in 2007 when a group of parents saw a need to fill in gaps for music programs, Weatherly said. Each year, it provides a donation for International Music Camp scholarships and purchases supplies, instruments or other equipment that are needed in the schools.
“Just kind of filling in that budget that’s not there for music,” she said.
Requests for funds may come from teachers or organizations, for example.
“We give to whomever asks,” Weatherly said. “Most recently, for example … the Lincoln (Elementary School) PTO came to us and said ‘We are really in need of new risers.’ Theirs were mismatched and old and rickety and not the safest for their kids anymore. They just didn’t have it in their budget, in the school budget to purchase new risers.”
The Lincoln PTO asked if they could raise half of the funds to get new risers would the JPS Music Boosters donate the other half, and the Music Boosters approved doing so.
“If there’s a need, they come to us (Music Boosters) to see if it’s something that we can help with. And sometimes it’s just a matter of going to the school board and saying, ‘We feel that this is something that the school should be paying for, is this in the budget or can you find this in the budget,’” Weatherly said.
Several years ago, before Weatherly was a member of the Music Boosters, there wasn’t money in the budget for piano tuning that has to be done on all of the pianos at the schools.
“In most cases, the teachers were paying for that tuning,” she said. “That could be a hundred dollars plus … whatever the going rate is per piano. And that’s a lot of money for them to have to come up with. And these are owned by the schools so it should be something that should just be part of the general maintenance.”
So the JPS Music Boosters at that time went to the school board, said this had come to their attention and felt money should be set aside in the budget for that, which was done, Weatherly said.
The Jamestown Public Schools Music Boosters have purchased large and small items for music programs, ranging from acoustic shells (which are placed behind risers on stage to project sound to the crowd) at JHS Theater to pianos, electric keyboards and supplies for the summer band program conducted by Ken Aune each year at the middle school.
“That’s always something that we put in our budget every year,” she said of the summer band program supplies.
The group also works to raise awareness of music “goings-on” at the schools, she said.
Besides the concerts, the Music Boosters sell T-shirts to make money, with a new design for the shirt being done every two years. Order forms for the shirts are sent out through the schools and then the shirts are ordered, along with a few extras. She said a school choir that goes on a summer trip uses the T-shirts as its “uniform.”
The new shirt will be coming out halfway into the school year, she said.
“It just helps us have a little more money in our pockets so that we can be doing a little bit more,” she said.
JPS Music Boosters, made up primarily of parents in middle school and high school students, would like its membership to grow. The one-hour meetings are at 5:30 p.m. on the second Monday of the month through the school year at Jamestown High School, Weatherly said.
“We would love to have more … parents with elementary age students become more involved, because that’s where it all starts,” she said. “Every kid is in music from kindergarten through sixth grade. Every single kid. It’s part of the curriculum and those kids are benefitting from our organization, too.”
Some of those elementary students will stay involved in music through middle school and high school, even into college, she said.
Music is important to learning, Weatherly added.
“It’s really important to development,” she said. “Kids get better SAT scores when they’re involved in music. They take their school work typically more seriously when they’re involved in music. It creates a community. And any way we can contribute to that and help that out, we want to be there for it.”