Parkrose High CD project sponsors are honored with luncheon and concert

See how the Parkrose High School music program will benefit from a fundraising project created by Gateway-area business people …

The Parkrose High “Debonaires”, led by instructor Lesley Bossert, prepares to serenade sponsors of the Parkrose Music Project at a special luncheon.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Following their success recording and producing a music CD that raised funds for the David Douglas High School music department in 2011, leaders and members of the Gateway Area Business Association (GABA) agreed to do the same for Parkrose High School this year.

To see our previous story on this project, “Gateway business group produces another music CD”: CLICK HERE.

Featuring classical melodies and swing-era tunes, the Parkrose High “Debonaires” entertains

With the recording and production completed, Parkrose High School officials invited the project’s sponsors to come by for a “thank you luncheon” on May 6.

As sponsors received their lunches, Dr. Karen Fischer Gray, Superintendent of the Parkrose School District, told East Portland News, “Parkrose, like many other school districts, has lost funding for arts and music programs. We value our music program at Parkrose, and the work done by our wonderful band director Randy McCray and choral director Lesley Bossert.”

More than simply being a “fun class”, Gray added, “Sometimes music is one of the main reasons students go to, and stay in, school. And, their performances bring much joy to our community.”

Gray lauded the efforts of GABA President Fred Sanchez – himself a classical concert pianist and sparkplug of the project. “He gathered these sponsors who show they care about our school’s music departments.”

Sponsors of the Parkrose Music CD, many of them in the room, paid for the entire cost of recording and production – so, all the money realized from its sale goes to benefit the music programs.

“I think it was wonderful, for them to invest this kind of energy and money,” said the school’s choral director, Lesley Bossert.

Money given to the choral program, Bossert said, will likely go toward purchasing music. “It’s illegal to photocopy sheet music, and each octavo [full sets of sheet music in booklets] that we purchase costs about $150. For publishing companies, who charge a flat fee for music, we still pay about $65 per song.”

In all the choirs combined, Bossert commented, about 170 students participate in the music program. “We truly thank the Gateway business community for their support.”

Look for this poster at Gateway and Parkrose area businesses – they’re selling the Parkrose Music CDs!

The donations by the sponsors – Adventist Medical Center, Dignity Memorial, Realty Brokers, Wholesale Printing USA, Pacific NW Credit Union, Elmer’s Restaurants, Hollywood Chiropractic, Stevko-Frary Family, and Argay Square – paid all the expenses for the project.

“This means that all of the production costs,” project leader Fred Sanchez underscored, “including music licensing, recording, pressing, labeling, and boxing the musical CDs, has been paid. Every dollar of the reasonably-priced $10 album goes straight to the Parkrose High music program.”

To learn more, see the GABA website: CLICK HERE.

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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