SEQUIM — The Sequim Community Orchestra (SCO) will present its second annual Christmas Concert at 7 tonight.
The concert and a bake sale will be at the Sequim Elks Lodge, 143 Port Williams Road. Admission is free although donations will be accepted.
Special guests, the students of the SCO String Kids program, will perform with the orchestra during the concert.
During the intermission, the children’s program will receive a sizable gift — a Community Education Grant for $6,000 from Sequim’s chapter of Beta Nu.
“We are so grateful to Beta Nu for their support,” said Beth Pratt, board president for the SCO.
“They approached us in 2016 about applying for their community education grants. Last year, we were awarded $4,000. This year, we asked for a little more.”
That “little more” is earmarked to purchase two cellos and a bass instrument for students.
“The SCO keeps instruction free for our nearly 40 students, and we keep a collection of loaner instruments so that students need not pay for costly rentals or invest in an instrument they will outgrow in time. However, we do not have any large, bass clef instruments in our collection. Beta Nu has stepped up to help us solve that problem,” Pratt said.
She continued, “We are so excited that we will no longer have to tell a new student that they cannot learn the instrument they choose, if they choose a cello or bass, and cannot afford to purchase or rent their own.”
The SCO String Kids program began in 2013 and was originally held in Sequim School District spaces, though the district was not involved in administration of the program.
In 2017, the classes moved to Olympic View Church of God in Sequim, which donated the space to host classes.
Funding for the program has always been through grants, donation, proceeds from concerts and bake sales held during concerts by parents and students. The SCO is a federally recognized nonprofit organization.
With the grant from Beta Nu, the String Kids program also will be able to invest in the library of performance music and participate in the Solo Ensemble Competition in January, in addition to the purchase and maintenance of the new instruments.
“Music lovers from across the county have stepped up to help us fund this program, to provide this opportunity for Sequim students. We hope they will come and enjoy an evening of Christmas music with us on the 15th. We are grateful to the Elks Lodge, too, for hosting this concert event,” Pratt said.
For more information, contact Beth Pratt, SCO board president, at 360-460-7368 or by email at [email protected]