When you think “kids concert” do you also think great music? I certainly don’t. When I walked into the Fernwood Elementary Benefit Concert last month, I expected a somewhat painful evening of cute but off-key singing and music making.
Instead, I had the pleasure of listening to the amazing student musicians from Fernwood Elementary!
I was so impressed with their talent, and the hard work they had clearly put into preparing for the evening. Throughout the evening we were treated to two musical selections from two choirs, a ukulele ensemble, and the Marimba Band Bad Monkeys. It was so fun to hear their selections and see the kids perform!
This amazing concert is all thanks to Fernwood Elementary’s music director Katherine Berry. Katherine worked tirelessly this year to organize this concert. Katherine was assisted by Sarah Ordana, Andy Coulthard, Christian C’Strannè and many others in putting together a great night of music.
I am proud to share that not only was it a great night of music, the concert was also a remarkably successful fundraiser. We raised over $4600 to provide education opportunities for students both in Seattle and in Uganda! These gifts will go directly to Uganda to cover field costs including gas to transport supplies to rural schools, and so much more.
At the concert we also unveiled our inaugural Overton Berry Service Award. Overton Berry, Katherine’s father-in-law was a renowned jazz musician. An incredibly kind and generous man, he always graced the Fernwood Benefit Concert with his performances. His absence left a big hole in the evening’s proceedings, and the award was a small step towards filling the gap.
We created the Service Award to recognize a student who goes above and beyond in serving others, just as Overton did in his lifetime. This year, we chose 4th grader Alvin Lee. Alvin is an outstanding classical pianist, one of the best his age. But this award isn’t about talent – it's about what you do with your talents. Alvin won a significant cash prize at a piano competition, and his parents let him choose how to spend it. After hearing the Sister Schools presentation, Alvin chose to purchase extra school supplies to donate to Uganda! Congratulations, Alvin – thank you for using your talents to give back!
Alvin is just one of many generous students at Fernwood Elementary – the community there is truly something special.
We are so grateful for the 800 pounds of school supplies donated by Fernwood kids for their partner school Sittankya in Uganda, and the financial support provided by Fernwood families to help those supplies reach the children who need it most.