Gateway realtor leads musical fundraiser to benefit David Douglas Schools students

Who is the classically-trained concert pianist who took on this effort? Find out – and learn where you can buy a great music CD – right here …

This music CD, produced by GABA members, is helping to raise funds to help continue music programs in David Douglas Schools.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Longtime Gateway business booster Fred Sanchez, of Realty Brokers, announced at the GABA meeting that a special music CD – produced locally, and featuring David Douglas Schools musicians and himself – would soon be available

On December 21, Sanchez presented the result of the project, a CD entitled “David Douglas High School Musicians”, to David Douglas School District (DDS) Superintendent Don Grotting.

After the presentation, we asked Sanchez, who is credited for developing the idea, to talk about the effort.

“The project got underway about a year ago,” Sanchez began. “The concept was brought to my attention by the David Douglas School Board members.  Then Superintendent Barbara Rummel asked me to perform and play something.  That’s how it started.”

The result, Sanchiz said, was that a group of teachers, students, the GABA board, and members and community wanted to do something for David Douglas’ music programs.

As a classically-trained concert pianist, music’s long been important to Sanchez. “It’s a passion that I’ve had for many years. When I was asked to participate in this project, I immediately thought of the many years and countless hours of practice that it took for me to learn to play the piano when I was in school. Watching these kids learn, practice, and perform these beautiful pieces of music – it was a real honor to be associated with this.”

100% of the proceeds from the sale of the CDs go to David Douglas Schools’ music programs, Sanchez said. “Many donations help make this possible. For example, the Gresham Pops Orchestra donated the set of conductors and musical scores for the concerto. Without that, it would have cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. Even the audio engineering was donated – the engineer was a graduate of David Douglas.”

GABA’s 2011 President, Lee Powell, of the Lee Powell Farmer’s Insurance Agency;  David Douglas Schools; and project spearhead Fred Sanchez of Realty Brokers – all agree that the sales of this recording will help many outer East Portland kids to continue their musical education.

DDS Superintendent Don Grotting commented at the presentation, “Coming from a rural Oregon district into the metropolitan area – a significant advantage that I see is the willingness of businesses to work with education. I don’t know if that applies strictly to outer East Portland, or to Portland in general – but this is one of the biggest differences that I’ve seen.”

The donation is important on a couple of levels, Grotting continued, “Because of the budget problems we face – our school district now has the highest free and reduced lunch rate [in the area] – it’s wonderful for the students to participate in music and arts programs that they would not normally be able to experience.  It’ll be important to do whatever we can to obtain the resources to try to keep as many of these programs as possible for our kids.”

Enthused about new ‘tradition’
In addition to the financial benefit provided by the project, Grotting pointed out, “It starts a tradition. This project is now part of David Douglas ‘history’ for the students who performed this music on this CD. And, we’re starting a historical milestone of our schools of being directly supported by a business association. So, for many reasons, we’re very grateful.”

The production sponsors included Realty Brokers, Columbia Bank, Warren Allen Attorneys, Hazelwood Neighborhood Association, Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood Association, and Dignity Memorial Services.

Music and the CD art work on this disc are played by David Douglas students and by Fred Sanchez.

The CDs cost $9.50 each, and are available at:

  • Postal Place at 111th Square, 11124 NE Halsey Street
  • Farmers Insurance (Lee Powell Agency), 12520 NE Halsey Street
  • SOS Moving Management Corp, 10630 NE Halsey Street

To see the CD jacket, which includes a play list, visit the official GABA website: CLICK HERE.

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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