Providing a soundtrack: Ardmore High School bands hold fundraisers for Orlando trip, lessons program

Michael Smith
Ardmore High School wind ensemble practices on Feb. 13, 2020. A series of weekend fundraisers will help support a program for weekly in-depth lessons and a Florida trip for a workshop on recording soundtracks.

Ardmore City Schools Director of Bands Chauvin Aaron will tell you that music department fundraisers this weekend are also services provided to the community. Anyone that finds a deal during Saturday’s mattress sale or rummage sale would likely agree, as would someone who enjoys an Indian taco before Sunday’s chamber recital.

The busy weekend starts on Saturday morning with a rummage and bake sale. Aaron said the proceeds will help fund a band trip to Orlando later this year. According to a flyer for the event, all proceeds will be split between the 59 Florida-bound students for snacks, souvenirs, and other extras.

“Anything else that they’re going to purchase outside of their regular breakfast, lunch and dinner, they’re going to have to have money for that,” he said.

An annual mattress sale will also be held at the high school on Saturday. Proceeds from the fifth annual sale will be used to support the Ardmore High School music department.

On Sunday, an Indian taco fundraiser will help fund the Ardmore Bands Lessons Program for the rest of the school year. Aaron said the program has been helpful for students and the band program to prepare for recitals and competitions.

Following the fundraiser, members who recently participated in a solo and ensemble festival in Norman will be recognized before an afternoon chamber recital at the AHS cafeteria.

The trip to Orlando will include the obvious visit to Disney theme parks but will also provide students with a unique opportunity to learn about how musicians record soundtracks. Aaron said students will participate in a workshop with Disney musicians and learn firsthand knowledge from musicians who currently work in the film industry.

“We’ll actually go through a sight-reading process that the musicians go through when they get ready to read music for a soundtrack,” said Aaron. “It will be a pretty thorough experience.”

Ardmore students get the opportunity to take trips every other year and Aaron said he tries to incorporate music into those trips. He said a previous trip to Chicago included a workshop with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign director of bands and a visit to a museum dedicated to John Philip Sousa, a 20th century composer widely known as “The American March King.”

The Ardmore Bands Lessons Program provides students with specialized instruction based on their instrument. Started in 2017, the program brings teachers and professional musicians from Oklahoma and Texas to conduct weekly workshops. Aaron said the extra lessons has been invaluable for the band program.

“With these professional musicians, they’re able to go deeper into the technical aspects of their physical instrument,” he said. “As we end the school year, we need more funds to help finish that program out.”

Those Ardmore High School musicians begin their massive fundraiser drive on Saturday at 9 a.m. with the rummage and bake sale at the AHS Fine Arts Building. The mattress sale will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

The Indian taco fundraiser will begin on Sunday at noon at the AHS cafeteria with the chamber recital at 2 p.m. Plates will be $5 and Aaron said donations will also be accepted.