Monday, February 25, 2013

Fundraiser: 2nd Annual ST Play A Thon

Part of the fun of this blog is sharing fundraising information. The Santa Teresa Music Play A Thon is going to need more than one blog to talk about it but here's an intro into what it is.

My band staff member/percussion educator/musician extraordinaire, Reno Brian, brought our program the idea for this fundraiser that he done at his high school. We embraced the idea, even though its a ton of work, to put together the Play A Thon with the hope that eventually this would be one of the only fundraisers that we do in the entire year. In our second year, I believe we have barely scrapped the surface of what is possible with this fundraiser....but that's another blog.

What is it? Well here's what Facebook says "The Playathon is a FREE performance fundraising event in which various ensembles at STHS come together for an 16-hour musical marathon. Come enjoy music from our award-winning Jazz Bands and Concert Ensembles, and even some student rock bands. Donations go to new marching band uniforms, instrument repairs, staff instruction, music purchases, and much more. This year's theme is Viva Las Vegas and will feature music inspired by the iconic city. Some of San Jose's finest food trucks will be on hand to support the public portion of the 16 hours of continuous music. They are donating part of the profits to support the next generation of musicians.This event is open to the public after 3pm. Free to the public. Donations are tax-deductible."

Committees were formed in the fall for everything from decorations, prizes, advertising and media, and pledge parties. Parents and students join the committees because an important element of this event is that we want the students to do a majority of the work and participate in the planning and execution of the event itself. The students and parents have all been hard at work on the event planning for months. 

Prior to the event the students volunteer on their committees. The students have been building props and decorations for the event, which the theme this year is "Viva Las Vegas" The student prize committee has been soliciting local businesses for donations of prizes for our student prize drawing (students earn drawing tickets through all their volunteer efforts that they can use to enter for prizes at the prize drawing) and for a silent auction like drawing as well (the public can buy tickets and put them in for various items in our public drawing). 

The big thing that students have been participating in are pledge parties. This is where a family hosts a group 10 students at their home and go out amongst the neighborhood and knock on doors, play some songs, and ask for donations. To date we have made just over $7,000 on our pledge parties. 

We have also been soliciting donations for our uniform sponsorship drive as well.

The event is a fundraiser, before and during the event. Last year we raised around $10,000. With our new marching band uniforms in production we hope to raise as much money as possible to assist in that purchase as well as to continue to support student scholarships and badly needed instrument purchases. The event is also a thank-you event for our community for their support of our program. Its also a celebration for all the students' hard work. While they do perform at the event they also receive drawing tickets and a delicious free meal donated by Buca di Beppo and Whole Foods (the students actually were able to secure the Buca di Beppo donation themselves which is awesome). 

So in a nutshell that's the Play A Thon. If you are local we hope you can come check it out. Visit our website at or join us at our event on Facebook at

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