On Monday, March 21st, over 400 middle school students from Rainer MS directed by Adam Cornwall, John C. Thomas MS directed by Darla Mead, Mossyrock Junior High directed by Martha Sturgeon, Toledo MS directed by Kathy Welch, Onalaska MS directed by David Stingley, Winlock MS directed by Karl Scarborough, Napavine MS directed by Gary Calkins, Adna MS directed by Ryan Brumbaugh, Rochester MS directed by Rich Pasko and Tenino MS directed by Andrew Bowerly.
Band members from all schools gathered at Tenino High School at 2pm where they worked together on songs they had been practicing in class to be be performed later in the evening in front of an audience. The concert, which started at 7pm featured one song selection which was performed individually by each school and concluded with 4 songs that were performed collectivley by all students that participated in the festival. The final songs performed were “Genius”, arranged by Larry Clark and conducted by Karl Scarborough of Winlock, “Fields of Clover”, written by Randall Stanbridge and conducted by Ryan Brumbaugh of Adna, “How to Train Your Dragon”, arranged by Sean O’Loughlin and directed by Gary Calkins of Napavine and the song which was favored by a majority of the students, “Fireflash”, written by Rob Romeyn and directed by Andrew Bowerly of Tenino.
At the end of the performance it was mentioned that Onalaska is facing the possibility of losing thier music program due to budget cuts. Studies have shown that students taking courses in music performance and music appreciation scored higher in the SAT’s than students with no arts participation.