Fall 2019 – Back to School Music

Hello from MAG!

The school music program started on a high note with the highly anticipated Multi-purpose Music Room ready for students.  Final touches are still being made, and there are many needs, but the excitement felt as each class walked in for the first time has been infectious.


String students have more elbow room and two rooms to practice their parts in small groups. Soon to be installed is a space-saving, modular Music Library shelving system that MAG has purchased, for $11,300, to properly house and protect the school’s growing library of sheet music that currently fills 14 filing cabinets!

Together with the Band Room, the new space completes a Music Wing at the public school for which so many of you have advocated.  More than a physical space, we have a symbol of our community’s dedication to nurturing a sustainable music program, and we cannot thank you enough!

In 2018-19, MAG contributions included:
A new bassoon
3rd-5th grade trip to Seattle Symphony
High School Band trip to Seattle Opera’s Carmen, in collaboration with Orcas Island Education Foundation.
Emmy award-winning String trio ’Time For Three’ performance at HS assembly in collaboration with the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival


In 2018-2019 MAG contributed a total of $15,000 to school music needs. This helped fund a range of incredible musical experiences and off-island performance opportunities, on top of essentials like new music scores, instruments, storage equipment and software licensing. The Joyce Burghardt Fund continues to be tapped to financially support students on the path to excellence, providing ad-hoc grants for music invitationals and competitions, and paying for technology driven tools like a SmartMusic practice software subscription.

What’s new
89 students in Band and 67+ in Strings
3rd/4th grade Seattle Symphony trip in May
Two beginning French Horn students in 2019-20

Award Highlights in 2018-2019
SJMEA ‘Superior’ rating for HS Band
SJMEA ‘Excellent’ rating for 7th/8th Band
SJMEA ‘Superior’ rating for HS String group
— highest score in the region for two years
WWU-ASTA Silver Performance Award, MS Strings
WWU-ASTA 3rd Place Award, Chamber Music Div,
HS Strings

*SJMEA – San Juan Music Educators Assn
*ASTA – American String Teachers Assn statewide contest

Circle of MusicIMG_3176

The intergenerational connections being nurtured when volunteer musicians coach beginning students and when community musical groups practice with students in shared music rooms all make our school music program extra special.

“Can I just say that MAG is amazing!? Your generosity is helping build a remarkable program…and a very nicely outfitted one!”
  Keith Whitaker, OISD Business Manager

IMG_6801Last year’s graduating class was notable for its number of accomplished student musicians, who have matured musically with the Orcas community’s encouragement and involvement.  It was with pride and appreciation that MAG saw three of those seniors each present a music-related senior project that gave back to the community.


“Thank you MAG! Once again you have taken care of the needs of the music program. Words cannot express the gratitude.” 
Pamela Wright, Strings Director & Elementary Music Teacher

A huge Thank You for being part of this circle of music. Your donations, time and presence help keep MAG going.  By partnering with the school and community, we can support a quality music program for all our students.  See you at a concert soon!

School Concert Calendar 2019-20
Dec 5      5th-8th Music Concert, HS Gym, 7pm
Dec 12    High School Concert, Orcas Center, 7pm
Jan 23     Elementary Concert, HS Gym, 6:30pm
Mar 1     MAG Spring Benefit Concert, Old Gym, 3pm
Apr 9      7th-12th Band/Strings Festival Concert, HS Gym, 7pm
May 7     District Band Concert, HS Gym, 7pm
May 14   District Strings Concert, Orcas Center, 6:30pm
May 28   Elementary Concert, HS Gym, 6:30pm


You’re INVITED to the OISD OPEN HOUSE, Sat Nov. 16, 10:00am
••••Come celebrate the completion of the Music Multi-purpose Room, Old Gym Remodel and Track and Field.  Stay tuned to local news for details.••••


Music Advocacy Group

Volunteer, or donate online or via check to ‘MAG’ at P.O. Box 1171, Eastsound, WA 98245.  MAG is a 501(c)(3) organization.