Play it Forward concert had a great cast | Letter

May 28, 2014

Editor, The Beacon:

Thank you so much for announcing Play it Forward in The Beacon and for putting it in The Beacon calendar of events. We really appreciate your help.

We made about $1,700 and received two instrument donations: a wonderful clarinet and a wonderful cello valued at $1,200. Pretty amazing, considering it was planned and orchestrated in less than three months!

I would also like to thank the performers of our benefit concert on May 15: the Mukilteo Elementary Advanced Orchestra, directed by Lois Beckman; Voyager Middle School Jazz Band, under the direction of Michael Clark; Explorer Middle School Orchestra, directed by Robin Enders; Kamiak’s Uber Kammerstreich and band sextet Excaliber, and last but not least, The Charlies band.

Lois Beckman and Robin Enders have been instrumental proponents of this concert and the need for kids to have access to musical instruments. Lois’s goal is that no child in the Mukilteo School District is turned away from band or orchestra due to family finances.

Robin teaches orchestra at six or seven schools and works with some of the schools in the Mukilteo School District that need musical instruments the most.

I’d also like to thank our emcee, Tyrone McMorris, who runs Casino Road Kids Ministries in Everett, and David Endicott, CEO/president of Music 4 Life.

In between performances, David talked about how his organization takes used instruments and monetary donations to repair and maintain instruments and give these to school districts.

David started Music 4 Life as a way to repay a friend who gave him his first tuba and got him on a better path after his father died when he was a just boy.

Music 4 Life works with Highline, Seattle, Edmonds and Shoreline school districts and has now also partnered with the Mukilteo School District, too, using our Play it Forward concert proceeds and donated instruments to start us out. Check out the program at MukilteoMusic4life.org.

Matt Martin with The Charlies has been an amazing help. He is lending his State Farm office as a drop off-site for used instruments for Music 4 Life.

There are so many others to thank who helped us: the Kamiak Performing Arts Boosters, city of Mukilteo, Mayor Jennifer Gregerson, Councilmembers Emily Vanderwielen and Chris Cook, Krystn McArthur, Jennifer Berner, Dale Dahl, and so many more.

Lastly, I couldn't be more proud of my daughter, Mary, who somehow juggled school, two AP tests and chairing this huge benefit concert. She even had homework to do afterward!

It truly takes a community to do something like this, and we have a great community here in the Mukilteo area.

Warm regards,

Ann M. Swadener,

Mukilteo

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