By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News
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Sharpe's marimba pupils have become a popular attraction as they've sharpened their abilities, playing gigs at area nursing homes in addition to the Juan de Fuca Festival in Port Angeles and the Dungeness River Festival in Sequim.
The students have really taken to the instruments, never needing to be prodded to practice, Sharpe said, because they “are crazy for them.”
But with the addition of middle school grades at the private Five Acre School this year, the school's marimba passion has outgrown its equipment.
“We are raising money for new marimbas because now that we have a middle school, we wish to upgrade to higher-quality instruments,” Sharpe said.
The school aims to purchase four new soprano marimbas and two new tenors, which Sharpe said will lend the band a sound that is both better and louder than the current set.
The school is having a Kidimba Marimba fundraiser to help fund the purchase of new instruments this weekend.
The family-friendly event will be at the Vern Burton Community Center, 308 E. Fourth St. from 1 p.m. to5 p.m. Saturday.
That fundraiser will be followed by a bingo night intended for adults only, with doors opening at 5:45 p.m. and games starting at 6:30 p.m.
At Saturday afternoon's event, the Five Acre Soundwaves marimba band will show off its marimba skills with a concert at 2 p.m.
Sharpe also will lead a community marimba play-along for those 7 or older in which she will teach basic marimba skills and simple songs.
“Marimbas are wonderful for kids because they can play in an ensemble, sound great and have fun pretty quickly,” Sharpe said.
There also will be a “marimba petting zoo” at 3 p.m. where attendees can check out the instruments up-close.
“We would love for Port Angeles people to know about our awesome school and also get a chance to come out and try a marimba with their elementary/middle school-aged kids,” Sharpe said.
Five Acre Director Kristin Smith said school officials decided to have the festival in Port Angeles since nearly a third of the school's students hail from the west.
“It's our chance to show the community there what our kids can do and to thank them because we really get a lot of support from over there,” Smith said.
Other events include a Zumba Kids session led by Jane Dominguez and the young marimba artists, a photo booth, henna tattoos, face painting, crafts for kids and family bingo.
Refreshments will be available at the bake sale and the Crave Cart, a designer hot dog stand.
Admission will be free for the Bingo for the Band fundraiser Saturday night.
It will cost $15 to play 15 games. Extra games, called special games, are $1. Prizes will be awarded. A 50/50 raffle is planned.
Refreshments will be available at the event's bake sale and from the Crave Cart hot dog stand.
For more information, phone 360-681-7255.
Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.