Fountain Valley Music Live Surpasses Goal!
It began with the idea of finding a few musicians who had been touched, and perhaps changed, by the now threatened Fountain Valley School District music program; and then asking them to come together to perform a benefit concert. More than 40 musicians answered the call, from string quartet to jazz band, from operatic soprano to childrenís ensemble (just to remind us for whom the music rings). All came to play their part for kids.
The goal was to raise $34,000. The result was more than $41,000 in sponsorships, ticket sales, and capped by opportunity drawing. The hope was to fill 300 seats, but by the time the middle school quartet instructed the audience (in song) to turn their electronics off, a nearly packed house of more than 500 complied.
This first ever benefit concert for the FVSD instrumental music program came together like the families of an orchestra. There was the Brass of the FV School District Office, Strings tuned and (and sometimes pulled) by the FV Educational Foundation, Percussion as volunteers drummed up sponsorships and donations, and the varied Winds to organize, sell, usher, advertise, and rehearse. Chaired by Cantor Linda Ecker and directed by Resource Specialist Marilynn Manderscheid, the benefit was gifted with outstanding performances by professional musicians, many of them teachers, within this community. The list is extraordinary.
Concert pianists Teresa de Jong Pombo and Hedy Lee each brought the Yamaha grand provided for the event to life with Chopin and Schubert. Hedy also took a turn to accompany soprano Lisa Hoefs-Nau, and Teresa not only accompanied musical vocalist Linda Ecker, but played with violinist Larry Greenfield an arrangement of selections from Porgy and Bess. Larry played as well in Fulton Principal Chris Christenenís string quartet, along with Sandi Rynerson and Dina Reynolds. Fountain Valley High School Instrumental Music Co-director, Mark Irons assembled the ďPro Baron Jazz Band,Ē which included teaching musicians Gary Wampler, Rudy Arevalos, Rob Covacevich, Steve Hommel, Chuck Drinkworth, Jamie Knight, joined by Leigh Martin and awarding winning high school senior Stephen Wood.
Former Fountain Valley High School vocal music teachers Brett Stewart, Ted Reid, and Tom Antal sang in quartet with Tomís son, baritone Ryan Antal. Brett not only accompanied Ryanís solo, but also arranged and performed the programís opening number with his own familyís children and FV teachers Christine Conkle and Irene Turner. Darren Carr brought his rock band Echo Echo to open the band performances, that included not only the Pro Baron Jazz Band, but also the Popdudes, with John Borack, Kenny Howes, Anthony Grisham, and HBHS faculty members Michael Simmons and Jamie Knight.
Perhaps the biggest applause of the evening was given to the Ring Leaders, an ensemble made up of all Fountain Valley School District principals and directed by Chris Christensen. Perhaps itís because they are all teachers that they couldnít help but demonstrate the lesson of the event: when many different instruments work together in symphony, there will be beautiful music.