Musicians pool talents to raise money for Communities in Schools

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Shavonne Potts
Salisbury Post
A one and a two and a … the notes were counted off. The lively music could be heard from the ends of the halls Sunday evening at North Rowan Middle School.
A group of musicians gathered at the school to practice for a concert to raise money for Communities In Schools.
The ensemble was made up mostly of band instructors and students, all asked to take part by Ron Turbyfill, principal of Hanford Dole Elementary School.
About 10 of the nearly 20 musicians showed up for what was their second practice session.
Communities In Schools is trying something new in the way of fundraising and Bob Foreman, a staff member at Knox Middle School connected to the agency, came up with the idea of having a concert to raise additional money.
Turbyfill knows many of the musicians. One of them is his 18-year-old son, Lane.
The group started planning about a month ago and had its first rehearsal last week, he said.
The group practiced for about two hours Sunday.
The jazz ensemble is playing 1930s and ’40s Big Band music.
The event is from 4p.m. to 6 p.m. May 18 at the F&M Trolley Barn.
The event is free to the public, but organizers ask for a donation, a pledge or for future volunteer efforts.
Communities in Schools Executive Director Vicky Slusser explained the need for more funds.
This is the last year the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce is able to completely fund the program. At the same time, Communities in Schools is no longer raising funds with its annual flotilla on High Rock Lake.
The agency was at the mercy of the weather with the flotilla and, over the years, participation dwindled.
There was also a chance the agency’s previous funding would not be reinstated. It needed something to bring in money in order to continue providing services.
“This year, we decided to do something different,” Slusser said.
Agency leaders settled on having the same businesses who participated in the flotilla sponsor a banner, which will then hang in one of the Rowan County schools. Organizers started the banner campaign several months ago.
Things sort of fell into place with various businesses donating items for the event, including F&M Bank Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Paul Fisher, who donated the Trolley Barn for the location. A Food Lion vendor is donating 12 one-gallon buckets of ice cream.
And, of course, the musicians are playing for free.
Slusser said organizers also wanted something family oriented. She added that no alcohol will be served at the event, just ice cream and soft drinks.
Jerry Goodnight, a sophomore at West Rowan High School, got involved with the group through his band instructor, Daniel Trivette, who is playing drums with the ensemble.
“It’s great being around these people who play so well. I couldn’t ask for a better group to play with,” Goodnight said.
The Salisbury resident said he’s been playing the trumpet for four years.
Lane Turbyfill, performing alongside his father, Ron, called the experience “kind of amazing.”
Turbyfill has been playing the saxophone since the fourth grade.
“It’s really fun. Normally I play in school performances. This is a completely different experience,” the South Rowan High School senior said.
Bill Hardin is the band director at North Rowan Middle School and also performs with the Kings of Swing Jazz Orchestra in Greensboro.
“I love to play. I love to do this stuff,” he said.
Hardin said he’s glad he and the other musicians could use their talents to help.
“Certainly, Communities In Schools does a super job. They touch places that we can’t touch,” Hardin said.
He began playing the saxophone at 10. Hardin also plays the flute and clarinet. Turbyfill asked him to participate.
Steve Sigmon is a band instructor at Salisbury High. He also agreed to take part when asked by Turbyfill.
Sigmon is playing the trombone in this ensemble, but his primary instrument is the euphonium, or baritone.
He’s played an instrument since the fifth grade.
“It’s a lot of fun. You start playing music because you love it and later you realize it has a higher purpose and that’s this,” he said of the fundraiser.
When asked what his students think of him playing in the ensemble, Sigmon said they know he also plays with the Catawba Community Band and some of the students actually get to play alongside him.
The following musicians also participated in Sunday’s practice: Daniel Trivette, West Rowan High band instructor; Ed Harper, saxophonist; Kenny Hurst, saxophonist; Dr. Steve Etters, Catawba College music professor; and Tom Stubbins, music instructor at both Hanford Dole and Elizabeth Koontz Elementary schools.
Communities In Schools offers in-school mentoring and tutoring, referrals to community agencies and assistance with emergency clothing for students at the elementary schools. It also offers assistance with medications when there are no other resources available.
Communities In Schools is located inside the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce building in downtown Salisbury.
Communities In Schools is a United Way member agency. It is also funded in part by the Blanche and Julian Robertson Family Foundation, the Margaret C. Woodson Foundation, the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Rowan-Salisbury School System and Altrusa International of Salisbury.
For more information about the event, contact Communities in Schools at 704-797-0210.
Contact Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253 or