Take the pledge: TTHS Band telethon Saturday | SierraSun.com
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Take the pledge: TTHS Band telethon Saturday

ABHUTCHISON, Sierra Sun

Truckee-Tahoe High School Band members and parent TEMPO High (Truckee Education Music Parents Organization) volunteers are hoping to hear a different sound of music on Saturday – a sound not from band instruments but from telephones.

On Feb. 10, TTHS band students and volunteers will present their second annual telethon fund-raiser, which will air live on Tahoe-Truckee Community Television’s cable Channel 6 between 1 and 9 p.m. Saturday.

By calling the studio and making a pledge, Truckee area residents can help support band instruments and music scholarships as well as the band’s annual spring tour, which includes touring the state and giving free concerts to convalescent, children’s and veteran’s hospitals.

“The spring tour is the best reason to be in band,” said junior tuba and baritone player Randall Smith. “It’s a good experience and it’s a lot of fun. (For the patients) it’s their highlight of the year. They talk about us after we leave and look forward to seeing us again.”

Smith, who hasn’t missed a spring tour since he started band as a freshman, said if the band is short of funds for the trip, the money comes out of the students’ pockets.

Four telethon phones will be manned by parent volunteers who will take turn being television hosts. Band members will give live and pre-taped performances throughout the afternoon and evenings as well as interviews. The band members, who wrote the script, will also be busy working the cameras and production tasks. Parents will participate in training on Thursday and students have been working on graphics for the show all week. Film clips from past performances and footage from last year’s spring tour will also be aired.

“This is TEMPO’s big fund-raiser,” TTCTV’s producer and TTHS teacher John Echols said. “Last year the telethon raised about $6,000. The volunteers and the people we train pretty much take over and run the show for eight hours. It’s a real community event. It’s a big party atmosphere in here during the event and it’s fun.”

Most of the $6,000 was raised in the last few hours of last year’s telethon, Echols said, and the calls really kicked in in the evening. Band members are hoping to repeat last year’s success.

There are approximately 50 band members in the TTHS school band, which includes a symphony and modern classical band, a jazz band and a marching band. The spring tour occurs every year during Easter break, this year from April 16-20.

TEMPO High parent Helen Solli-Nowlan will be hosting the show for a few hours Saturday afternoon and said members of TAMA (Truckee Alliance for the Musical Arts) will be dropping by during the day and evening to play instruments and give interviews.

“There’s a lot of parent involvement, it’s fun for us,” Solli-Nowlan said. “Last year it was the most enjoyable fund-raiser I’ve ever done. People came to help for two hours and ended up staying all day.

Former TTHS graduate Mike Miller, who is currently a student at University of Nevada, Reno, will host the telethon for the first two hours. KUNR announcer and parent of a former TTHS band student Jack Scowcroft and Sierra Mountain Middle School band teacher and director Randy Humphreys will also host some of the telethon.

To support the high school band, make a pledge by tuning into Channel 6 and dialing 582-7630 between 1 and 9 p.m. Bring a smile to band members’ faces by filling the air with the sound of ringing telephones.


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