On Sunday, about 80 young musicians will show off their skills at the Henry Strater Theatre for the annual Stillwater Music’s “Winter Wonder Bands” gala performance.
The gala will cover a variety of genres: Pop and rock, blues, funk and classical music will be represented.
“All the youth groups play, like they do at Party in the Park in the summer. But this is just Stillwater groups,” said Executive Director Jeroen van Tyn. “It’s a little more dressed up.”
Not only is the show an end-of-semester performance for the students, it is also a fundraiser for Stillwater, he said.
Stillwater Music, which used to be called the Stillwater Foundation, was formed in 2005. According to its website, its purpose is to “provide educational opportunities for youth and adults, including the disabled and disadvantaged, to participate in quality instruction in the arts in a safe and positive environment.”
Thirteen bands will be playing the gala, van Tyn said, and lunch catered by Hot Tomatoes is included in the ticket price. The event will also feature a silent auction, and all proceeds will go to Stillwater’s after-school youth program.
And with the price of admission, you get six hours of music – the gala will run from noon to 6 p.m. But audience members are free to come and go as they please, van Tyn said.
He said that while Winter Wonder Bands is an important fundraiser, it’s a fun community event and it’s also fun for the musicians.
“Stillwater bands play at all kinds of other functions, and those kind of get done band by band,” van Tyn said. “(Winter and May) are the only two events where all the youth groups play, so they get to see each other play, too. The little kids get to see the older kids and vice versa. It’s cool.”