Etcetera - 07/15/10

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Walla Walla Valley Bands Board of Directors learned that Sherwood Trust thinks the organization is just grand -- 51 times over, said Ron McHenry, WWVB director, in a release.

The group has grown so much in recent years that it has been difficult to keep up with requests for instruments and access to equipment necessary to outfit a full concert band and two jazz ensembles.

Through the generous spirit of Donald and Virginia Sherwood to serve the community, Sherwood Trust invested $51,000 to allow for purchases of large and unusual equipment and instruments to further the capability of the Walla Walla Valley Bands, Ron said.

While the Sherwood Trust grant is by far the largest received by the organization to date, many local grant-making organizations, individuals and businesses have combined to allow the group to already purchase more than $40,000 in instruments.

"Members are thrilled as the gift will permit even more adults the opportunity to perform in one or more of the ensembles."

"This really validates all of our hard work and efforts over the last 20 years," said Mike Howell, original member dating back to 1989 and architect of the successful proposal.

Ron said he was "ecstatic to hear the result of the effort. We've been working hard to be excellent stewards of community resources and the instruments and equipment this will purchase is going to provide the band with the means to continue to grow as an ensemble."

New instruments and equipment will be premiered to the community and the Sherwood Trust recognized at a special performance by the ensembles on Oct. 31.

A tuba, baritone saxophone, bass trombone and full assortment of percussion equipment including timpani and chimes have already been ordered and will be featured at the concert.

The WWVB performed during the Fourth of July celebration in the Park.

WWVB began as the Walla Walla Community Band in 1989. In 2007 the organization began partnering with Walla Walla Community College to provide enhanced large-group playing opportunities for students in attendance there. Since then, student enrollment and community involvement has grown from 50 to 100-plus members participating annually. The Walla Walla Valley Bands are under the direction of Ron, with Assistant Director Jesus Vasquez, Associate Conductor Renee Corbett and Instructional Coach Anthony Marks. WWVB include a 70-member Concert Band, 18-member select Jazz Ensemble, 23-member Jazz Band and several chamber groups. The group is proud to be one of the only non-auditioned performing ensembles in the area, open to all.

For more details, contact Ron at 509-301-3920 or online see www.wwvalleybands.org.

Contact Annie Charnley Eveland at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.

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