Orchestra students working together, raising funds for trip


Fifty Port Townsend High School Orchestra students are looking forward to performing at Disneyland and participating in educational musical experiences in Los Angeles.

But funds come before fun, and orchestra members are hosting a fundraising spaghetti dinner Feb. 10 to help them get there.

The event, which includes performances by the students, is set for 5-8 p.m. on Saturday at Blue Heron Middle School.

“We’ve never been to LA before,” said orchestra conductor and teacher Daniel Ferland. “This is the biggest [trip] we’ve done.”

The orchestra members would be participating in a music clinic with the Monrovia High School Orchestra and in a Disney sound stage workshop.

“The students are going to go into the studio and learn to perform soundtracks – putting music to an actual Disney movie,” Ferland said.

As part of the workshop, they’ll get to wear headsets and watch a Disney movie as the conductor leads them through that film’s score.

“The kids are super excited to do that,” Ferland said.

The trip includes time to explore Hollywood and possibly a visit to the Getty Museum and the USC Thornton School of Music.

“We also have been invited to perform a concert in Disneyland as part of our trip.”


Ferland has been conducting the orchestra since 2014.

“Over the past few years, the orchestra continues to grow,” he said, noting past awards and achievements the orchestra has received, including earning a “superior” rating at the state competition in March 2017 and second place at the Northwest Orchestra Festival in Gresham, Oregon, in 2015.

“Each year we keep working and achieving new goals.”

Speaking of goals, the aim of the orchestra isn’t to create professional musicians, although some may take that path. “For the majority of the students, this is just a great life experience,” Ferland said.

“I think really the important thing is they’re learning to work as groups,” he said.

“They’re learning to really push themselves into excellence. It’s about the kids really learning to work together and achieve a goal.”

For more information about the trip, visitstrings2la.com.

The students have $18,000 to go before reaching their goal. Donations go directly to the trip and are tax-deductible.


No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment