DEERTON — Emily Vaughn makes a living teaching music to just under 100 students, pre-school to 8th grade, across three rural school districts in the U.P.
Vaughn said that the administrations at AuTrain-Onota Public School, Powell Township School and Wells Township School are supportive of the arts and her programs.
“Band is a required subject in all three of the schools that I teach in for 4th through 8th grade, and the schools provide everything. They provide the instruments, the materials, just everything,” said Vaughn.
Even with administrative support, these rural districts can’t afford to devote as much money to music programs as larger U.P. districts. In order to raise money for these programs, students from all three of these districts will be performing together for the first time ever at a joint concert fundraiser called “Small Schools, Big Sounds.”
The concert is this Friday, May 18th at the U.P. Children’s Museum in Marquette, and it begins at 6:00 p.m. Admission into the concert is donation-based.
On the day of the concert, museum staff will ask patrons to donate to the programs instead of paying the entry fee. Jim’s Music and Aubree’s Pizza are also donating to time and supplies in support of the cause.
“Each of my schools is in a little bit of a different state when it comes to our music programs and what we have and what we don’t have. The students will be able to decide how we spend the money,” said Vaughn. “We’re going to split it three ways, and totally equally.”
Vaughn is certain that her students will vote to spend a portion of the funds on ukuleles, as well as other materials that will contribute to the growth of the three music programs.
For more information about the concert, click HERE.