Renaissance High School band needs community’s help to raise funds for 2010 European Music Tour

Steven Wasko at 313-873-4542
Kisha Verdusco at 313-873-4546

Band students at Renaissance High School are just three weeks away from a deadline to raise $195,000 to pay for a concert tour of Europe, but they still need donations.

Students have raised an impressive $150,000 through band, orchestra and quartet performances, a bowl-a-thon, coupon book sale, selling concessions at basketball games and parent contributions, but they are still $45,000 shy of the amount they need to pay for 64 students, 14 chaperones and one band director to go on the trip.

The band is slated to perform in Munich and Ravensburg, Germany, Vienna and Salzburg, Austria, and Venice, Italy, during the 2010 European Music Tour, April 28-May 6. The students may also play a date in Switzerland or add another date in Venice, said Willie McAllister Jr., Director of Bands and Orchestra for Renaissance High School.

“I have experienced the joy of a young person getting on an airplane for the very first time as we traveled to a performance venue, whether the performance venue was The Tournament of Roses Parade in California, Carnegie Hall in New York, The Performing Arts Center in Toronto, and Coventry Cathedral in London, England,” McAllister said. “Music has not only touched and changed their lives but has inspired audiences all over the world.”

Renaissance High School Instrumental Music Department impressed audiences in London and South Wales during a 2001 tour and was invited to return to Europe, but did not have a chance until now.

“This is a very good group. This is the group we wanted to tour with,” McAllister said. “They worked hard and are gung ho about this trip.”

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