Area musicians gather to raise money for EHS band
The sounds coming from the CPA Park gazebo Saturday will be more of a sampling than just Sousa.
Although the Eudora High School band will be a part of the performances, the bands composing the Cardinal Dayz Festival range from country to bluegrass to rock.
"We wanted to make it so that everybody could come out for the day and find some kind of music they can listen to," said festival organizer DeeAnn Howell.
Band Parent Organization President Howell and others in the band's booster club are launching what is hoped to be the first of an annual fund-raising concert.
"We wanted to do something that would generate a lot of interest and get people involved and be an all-day event," said fellow organizer Brenda Clark.
Cardinal Dayz at CPA Park downtown begins at 3 p.m. Saturday with gospel sounds from The Witness Band and continues until about 10 p.m., closing with Jay Robkins' rock act, with pop, country, bluegrass, oldies and more thrown in between. Throughout the day, many of the main acts and divertissments will be performed by Eudora High School students.
"It makes sense that we get as many kids involved to participate," Howell said. "This is for the kids -- that's what we do."
Proceeds from the concert will help send Eudora High School concert band members to Orlando, Fla., in March for a music competition.
Band instructor Ray St. Ledger said Music Fest Orlando provided band students not only competition but also a learning opportunity.
"Instead of going down and just winning a trophy, the kids get to listen to critiques, and judges work with them," St. Ledger said.
The nature of the trip and Cardinal Dayz was congruent, Clark said.
"We thought since it was for the band it was appropriate to do bands," she said. "(We thought) it would be a neat way to start the year for the schools in general."
Festival-goers wanting to create some music of their own will have an opportunity with a jam session organizers hope to get going at about 4:30 p.m. Any musician is invited to bring his or her instrument and play along.
"If they want to group back up later, great," Howell said.
Howell said the group's lofty goal was to raise about $40,000 to cover the $600 per student cost.
"It would be nice to put every child on the bus and not have to worry about it," Howell said.
Tickets for the Saturday event are $5 for adults and $2.50 for children ages 3 to 10. Children 2 and younger will be admitted free. The tickets include a meal of sloppy joes or walking tacos with desserts, soda and water. Ala carte concessions will also be available throughout the day.
Howell said festival-goers would have wristbands allowing them to come and go during the seven-hour event.
Music fans will also find T-shirts designed by Eudora High School student Ben Tillman available for $10 or $12 depending on size, with proceeds benefiting the band. Other fund-raising going on during Cardinal Dayz includes the sale of discount cards for use at area businesses as well as listings for birthdays, anniversaries and the like on the Eudora community calendar.
To get the students to the trip that St. Ledger said would be largely educational, the band will also sell donuts and cider at football games and is planning a golf tournament next month. The band was trying to avoid door-to-door sales to finance the trip, he said.
"The more they support us in these large ventures the less we have to bother them at home," St. Ledger said.