Archive for Thursday, November 9, 2006

Music program relies on fund-raisers for 2008 Orlando competition

Updated at 10:59 a.m. Thursday

November 9, 2006

Editor's Note: The ticket prices for the spaghetti dinner fund-raiser are separate from the ticket prices for the performance.

The Eudora High School marching band and choir are looking to turn cupcakes and spaghetti dinners into plane tickets and hotel rooms for a 2008 national competition in Orlando.

Band director Mac Knight and choir director Angela Yarnell planned the trip last March after the choir won a national competition in San Antonio. The choir's victory and a vision of a united music program helped make the two directors decide it was time for a combined trip.

After checking with various agencies, Knight came across, "Festival Disney."

It stood out, he said.

"There are plenty of places we could play," Knight said. "Disney World just seemed to be a notch above the rest."

At the festival, Eudora would compete against other bands in front of the eyes of nationally recognized judges, Knight said.

The group would also make time for fun.

According to a preliminary itinerary, the choir and band would visit the parks surrounding the Walt Disney World property and take in cultural experiences like the Cirque du Soliel.

Kim Scherman attended the trip in San Antonio last year.

"The best part of the trip had to be the competition," Scherman said.

The price to strut the band and choir's collective stuff isn't cheap.

Before reaching the Florida sun, the dual groups will have to earn at least $1,500 per student.

Despite the price, the rush toward the goal has drawn the students together, Knight said.

"Everyone has to put in. Everyone has to do their part," Knight said. "They want everyone to go."

The ultimate price of the trip and the ensuing logistics thrust the directors into uncharted waters, Yarnell said.

"It's a new experience," she said.

To start chipping away at the eventual bill, the Eudora High School Band Parent Association began offering help on a series of fund-raisers for their children.

"Mr. Knight would have them show that they can play not only in Kansas, but they can go all over and play," band parent Joan Hughes said.

Starting with EudoraFest 2006, the band and choir organized a bake sale for the festival.

"We did moderately well over there, not as good as we hoped on," Hughes said.

The band parent association organizes the events during their monthly meetings, Hughes said.

"We're going to be doing some other stuff up until the end of 2007 to make sure we can get the funding for the trip," Hughes said.

The next event will be a spaghetti dinner Thursday before Eudora High School's fall musical, "Once on This Island."

The stars of the show will be available to meet the audience from 5:45 to 6:15 p.m. the night of the fund-raiser. Ticket prices are $5 for adults and $3 for children 10 and younger.

Future fund-raisers in the works include the sale of band cards -- which garner discounts at local businesses -- and a candle sale.

"It was a good seller at EudoraFest," Hughes said.

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