On March 6, the dining room of the Santa Clara Senior Center was packed with people there to learn more about music, and to support the Ambassadors jazz band in raising funds for their 2011 summer trip to Spain, Andora and Santa Clara’s sister city, Coimbra, Portugal.
ìOmaggio means homage or celebration in Italian and is also written on sheet music sometimes,î explains Kristen Huffman, an alum of Buchser Middle School, where the Ambassadors originate. She is the creator of the festival and offered her help because ìmusic develops cognitive and social skills. It increases concentration, sensitivity, teamwork and good sportsmanship. I chose this music association because Mr. Anderson (the band’s director) was a big influence on me to pursue music education and Buscher has such a good music department,î testifies Huffman.
Children were busy at music-related stations throughout the room. For a small donation, they could fix a broken instrument, make a musical instrument, play technology music games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, listen to and buy used CDs, try an electric guitar, or sing karaoke with the Beatles. In the background, the Ambassadors entertained them with Spanish and Portuguese melodies, and the Magic Makers added to the festivities later on in the afternoon. (see www.magicmakersband.com)
ìWe are promoting music for youth in a family friendly environment. Our intention is for everyone to learn a little bit more about music,î says Dionne Clabaugh, Chair for the Ambassadors’ trip.
Santa Clara Sister Cities Association had a presence there as well. ìWe were asked to support this fundraiser for the Ambassadors’ trip this summer as they are going to one of our sister cities,î remarks Debi Davis, SCSCA President. ìMembers of SCSCA donated Portuguese food to be sold here today. Our SCSCA Youth Commissioners are available to answer questions about Coimbra, Portugal,î she concludes.
ìThis is about making international friendships,î comments Peter Yoon, Board member of the local Library Trustees. ì I love this music,î he smiles.
ìThe quality of the performance and the type of sound we have now is because of the particular kids performing here. The trouble is there are still families who can’t afford to go and we really need the support of the community so we can represent Santa Clara this well. We only need about $20,000 more. In March, the Ambassadors need to commit to the number of people traveling. Some musicians’ spots are hanging in the balance,î Clabaugh, Trip Chair, says urging people to donate.
The band members are doing their part too. One of the features of Omaggio was a donation drawing where people attempted to win a basket of goodies. ìEach section of the band was responsible for getting a basket,î offers Jean Scheid who organized the drawing. ìThere are band kids working the activity stations too and they created the ideas for them,î she adds.
ìWe are practicing a lot for this trip. Mr. Anderson rewards hard work. He strongly encourages us to attend band camp for three weeks before the trip,î 13-year-old Matthew says, looking forward to the opportunity.
ìI get satisfaction watching the audiences greatly appreciate these talented young people and savor the differences, as well as notice how much the same we all are, especially when we speak the universal language of Music. I am begging the Santa Clara community for monetary help for scholarshipsÖany amount will be gratefully accepted,î asks Director David Ladd Anderson. To make a tax-deductible donation, send your check to Buchser Music Association, PO Box 2801, Santa Clara, CA. 95055 “For more info and other fundraising events, please see: http://buchsermusic.org/Trips/PortugalSpain2011/tabid/89/Default.aspx