Although the Basalt band program’s annual fundraiser, The Joy of Music, was canceled last week after the Roaring Fork Weekly Journal went to press, the music will go on and so will the fundraising. The Joy of Music was one of the first victims of the COVID-19 outbreak in the Valley after district-wide school closures shut down all nonessential school events and activities.
This annual event tries to raise upwards of $15,000 to support the grades 5-12 Basalt music program. In a letter to families on March 12, band staff and band booster leaders noted that the funds are used “to purchase and maintain instruments so that ALL of the 250+ students in band have access to music education, especially if their families cannot afford to rent or purchase an instrument from local music stores.”
Because so many students participate in the band program, the annual fundraiser, which features small-group student ensembles, dinner, a live cake auction and silent auctions, is critical to the program’s success.
“It was a huge disappointment to have to cancel the Joy of Music, not only because of the necessary funds we need to raise, but also because it’s such a great community event celebrating music and our band students,” said Band Booster president Jennifer Scherer. “While we will find a way to honor the students’ hard work, I’m very worried about raising the roughly $15,000 we anticipated from the event and hope the community will donate what they can to help us continue to support the Basalt band program next year.”
Plans are in the works to possibly hold the silent auction either online or at the spring band concert.
Thanks to a gorgeous already-baked live auction cake, local Rick Lofaro took to the Basalt Community Pages on Facebook to auction it off for $110 toward the band program. A GoFundMe page (link below) has also been set up but to date it has only raised $1,879. Families and community members who are able to are encouraged to donate to support this important music program in Basalt schools.
The music will go on as well. When school resumes, student performances will be taped and posted online for families.
One performance has already been posted on Basalt Middle School’s YouTube Channel. The performance features 5th graders performing a rendition of Bob Marley & The Wailers’ “Three Little Birds.” The video, posted as the schools closed for an extra three days of spring break, remind our community that “every little thing’s gonna be alright.” With the help of the Valley’s supportive community, that’s bound to be true for the music program.
“It was a very difficult decision to cancel,” said Basalt Middle School Principal Jennifer Ellsperman. “We still look forward to an opportunity to see our students perform once school is back in session but the financial support is equally critical. The ability of our band program to sustain itself relies on these annual funds. BMS is proud of our band program and thankful for the amazing community support we have continued to have over the years.”
To donate to the Basalt Band Program, please visit the GoFundMe page titled “Funding the Basalt Band program” at: bit.ly/38Fwyqo.