Student musicians like BRE violinist Josh Ruegge and TTE trumpeter Abe West will perform at a charity event at the Castle Pines Community Center on February 6. Proceeds from the event will provide band and orchestra scholarships to local students in need.
Article and photos by Lisa Crockett
Budget cuts several years back changed the meaning of elementary school band and orchestra. Now, rather than an activity that is part of the school day, band is an extra-curricular with associated tuition and instrument rental fees. Though school music is a good value at $41 per month (plus instrument cost), for some families it’s simply out of reach.
Debbie Davidson-Stanfill, who administers the elementary school music program at area schools through the Colorado Chamber Orchestra’s Educational Outreach program, wants to make sure that everyone who wants to play an instrument has the opportunity to do so. Area groups and students have stepped in to help.
On February 6, the Castle Pines Arts and Cultural Foundation (CPACF), in partnership with the Colorado Chamber Orchestra, will sponsor an evening of music called “Colorado Chamber Orchestra’s Save the Music” at the Castle Pines Community Center. All proceeds will benefit band students in Douglas County.
“About ten percent of our students can’t afford full tuition, so I like to offer dollar-matching scholarships,” said Davidson-Stanfill. “I also have about 30 instruments that have been donated for students to use, and I need to maintain them.”
Save the Music is a benefit in two parts, an evening of music for children and parents will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and will feature the musical stylings of band students from throughout Douglas County, including players from Timber Trail Elementary and Buffalo Ridge Elementary. At 7:15, an adults-only event will begin, featuring music played by the Colorado Chamber Orchestra.
There will be light eats for each event. The adult event will also feature wine and appetizers in addition to a “Wine Pull” optional fundraiser: an additional $20 donation will allow adults to pull a number to a corresponding bottle of mystery wine holding a value between $15-$50. (These bottles cannot be consumed on the event premise.)
Eleven-year-old Josh Ruegge, who attends Buffalo Ridge Elementary is looking forward to performing on his violin at the event. “I think we need more music instruction,” said Ruegge. “Anything I can do to help other kids do something that I enjoy so much is definitely a good thing.”
The cost per ticket is $10 each for the children’s event and $50 each for the adult event. Tickets may be purchased online through the CPACF, www.castlepinesarts.org. Donations may be made on the website as well.