Concert raises money and awareness |

Concert raises money and awareness

by Caryn Haller
The Pau-Wa-Lu Steel Drum band performed prior to saturday's Community Christmas Concert at St. Gall Catholic Church.
Caryn Haller |

The attendance at the Community Christmas Concert on Saturday showed that not only is Douglas High School’s music program important to the students, but to the community as well.

Nearly 400 people packed the pastoral center at St. Gall Catholic Church, and donated $950.01 toward the $75,000 goal to purchase new uniforms and instruments.

“Hopefully there are some donors out there who will be willing to step forward with year-end donations to this great program,” said Robert Schilling, vice president of the Music Boosters Club. “This is roughly quadruple the attendance of any previous winter concert.

“I attribute this directly to our partnership with Carson Valley Arts Council, and hope that we continue to see increased community awareness of and commitment to the DHS music department.”

For senior Emily Toskin, being a Madrigal has brought her out of her shell.

“I love it,” she said. “I feel it has really helped me overcome some of my shyness and progress so much.”

The Madrigals have performed at nearly 20 community events so far this year.

“Imagine a Parade of Lights without the music and fanfare of the students of Douglas High,” Schilling said. “We absolutely see them all around the community.

“They all chose to be here tonight to give you the gift of music.”

Senior Ryan Ramos has been a Madrigal for three years, and said being a Madrigal has helped prepare him for his future.

“Music is important because students like to express themselves through either an instrument or voice,” Ryan said. “Being a Madrigal has shown me who I am. It has shown me how to be a professional. Whenever you are in costume, you can’t fool around. It gives a bad image to the entire music department.”

Along with the Madrigals, the DHS jazz band, concert band and vocal image women’s choir performed.

Minden resident Kim Duby’s daughter plays with both bands, as well as the marching band.

“Music is such an important part of education,” she said. “It gets them involved and they love it. They desparately need the money for uniforms, instruments, everything, and just to support them.”

Drum major Brandon Pierce dedicated Saturday’s concert to director Allison Smith whose mother, Martha Tinkler, died Friday.

Smith’s son, Jason, a music teacher in Fernley stepped in last minute to direct the concert.

Do donate to the music department, call Schilling at 775-591-4050, or Smith at 782-5136.