It was a hit, a chart-topper. Those tunes drew the crowd together, including folks who had never sung in chorus or even attended a concert. I remember standing back and scanning a wall of smiling faces, wanting to hold that moment as my memory of that reunion.
Such can be the magic of music.
Today public schools like mine are being challenged financially, with music education often toward the bottom of the funding priority list. Next month there's a rather unusual event planned in
The unusual concert will have free admission, but the audience gathered in the school's parking lot will have access to a silent auction and the ability to make a tax-deductible donation, with all the money collected being distributed through the
Smets, himself a graduate of
"Their performance and attendance at school improves, and it improves their prospects in life," he said. "It can have a tremendous impact on a student's life."
And yet the reality of public education in this state is tight budgets across the board. Music departments share in the funding crunch.
"Some kids are playing instruments that have holes in them, that are beyond their instrumental life," Smets said. "There are students playing instruments that their parents and grandparents played."
The Rockin' the Rooftop concert coincides with the music school's fifth anniversary, but it's actually been on a to-do wish list for some time. This year the opportunity to partner with radio station
"It turns out
People attending the concert can bid on the auction items and also make cash, check and secure credit card donations on site. Sponsorships and other promotional opportunities are also available.
Smets hopes the efforts end in a substantial boost for local student musician-wannabes.
"Every single penny generated is going to local school music programs," he said. "It's a unique concert and a unique opportunity to contribute to a cause that's important."
Lyksett can be reached at 715-830-5926 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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