On a frosty December night in Longview, students carry their instruments across the stage like a nearly full house of family and community members preparing to hear a holiday-themed musical performance. I was.
The Rose Center for the Arts at Lower Columbia College served as the venue for Kelso High School music students for the 2022 Holiday Gala on Thursday and Friday nights. This year, for the first time since his 2019, students will be able to perform at the Rose Center, which they couldn’t do in 2020 or 2021.
Local vendors sold stuffed animals, baked goods, clothing, and custom-made accessories as part of the Kelso Music Booster fundraiser. Raffle gifts strewn across tables with poinsettias, miniature Christmas trees, chocolates and other goodies invited attendees to submit their names.
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Derek White, music director and chairman of Kelso High School, said the 2019 gala raised about $16,000 to fund the school’s entire music program.
“It’s a really great opportunity for kids to do something like this,” White said. “This is probably the most professional concert we do. All the moving parts and the fact that it’s ticketed It’s from.”
Advance tickets are $20, and tickets on the day are $25. The event opened at 6:00 pm, giving patrons time to peruse the various businesses and his vendors, while students lined up on stage at 7:00 pm.
Sherry Stanion, vice president of the Booster Club, said the celebration would be the biggest moneymaker for the school’s music program.
“Mainly it helps kids get special events and programs,” Stanion said. hoping.”
Stanion, whose fourth-grade daughter played in a band on Thursday, said her role is to organize tickets and brochures and help students get ready, ensuring “everyone is taken care of.” said.
Prior to the event, Booster Club had pre-sold about 100 tickets, Stanion said.
“It didn’t happen in 2020 for obvious reasons,” Stanion said.
White said each music class at Kelso High School was played by about 160 students, or 10 percent of the school. This includes four band his classes, three choirs and two orchestral classes, all performing holiday-centric songs.
Student-led jazz ensembles performed during transitions as each class of students left the stage and new groups came to perform.
Aidan Haglund, a sophomore alto and baritone saxophonist in the Jazz Ensemble, said he was happy to meet his peers at the Rose Center.
“We are thrilled to have our group together,” Haglund said.
Haglund has previously acted in several theater productions at the Rose Center, so he said it wouldn’t be his first time on stage.
“I’ve always been pretty laid back about performing. I never get nervous,” Haglund said. “Everyone is excited to have this opportunity.”
White said the students were only given about three weeks to prepare for the concert, but he wasn’t concerned about their readiness. happened in the middle. That meant hosting concerts in high schools and having to practice social distancing.
“It was a lot different than what we were trying to do this year…it’s definitely a more traditional concert set-up,” said White.
Sydney Brown is a news reporter for The Daily News covering education and environmental issues in Cowlitz County.