Arts and Entertainment

Newport High School band program to hold annual fundraiser

The Newport High School Marching Band is one of the programs that will benefit from the gala.  - Courtesy photo
The Newport High School Marching Band is one of the programs that will benefit from the gala.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

The Newport High School Band Program will host its sixth annual Jazz Gala on Friday, April 20 at the Golf Club at Newcastle.

This year’s gala features performances by all three Newport jazz bands and professional jazz trumpeter Terell Stafford, who has played on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and at Carnegie Hall.There also will be live and silent auctions and a gourmet meal.

All proceeds from the event (which is open to the public) fund the entire Newport band program, which serves more than 200 students and their families. It costs approximately $45,000 a year to pay for the program, which includes everything from new piccolos to uniforms to student fee scholarships.

“Newport’s band program is one of the best in Washington, and that’s mostly because of the gala," said Director Meagan Roby. "Without the money from this event, our students and our community would lose the ability to run this department effectively, and ultimately it’s our kids who will feel that pain.”

Newport’s top jazz band recently was one of 12 bands in the nation to compete at the Swing Central Jazz Festival in Savannah, GA. While Newport did not make the finals this year, as Director Cory Edwards said, “Our jazzers prove time and time again that they are truly awesome performers and entertainers."

Students saw the benefits of their preparation at the festival, too.

“There is nothing more inspiring than jamming with the best jazz players in the world," said senior bassist Aurora Kraus. "We were so lucky to get such an amazing educational experience.”

Jazz does not define Newport’s program, nor does it receive most of the proceeds from the gala. Newport’s marching and concert bands are very successful as well and enjoyed by many students.

“I absolutely love performing under the bright stadium lights for a cheering audience," said

… I've met so many wonderful people in band and we're just all one giant dysfunctional family,” said senior Drum Major Anna Samudovsky. "We are all about fun, but we can all put our nose to the grindstone and sound and perform great,” added senior percussionist Michael Gregg.

The Wind Ensemble received two Superior ratings at the Eastshore First Band Festival while the Concert and Symphonic bands received Superior and Excellent ratings at the Eastshore Second Band Festival. Sixteen band members made All-State this year.

The program also includes two very popular percussion ensembles, one co-curricular and one extracurricular.

The Newport band program leaves a lasting impression on many of its members. As Bentley Altizer, a trombonist of the class of 2011, said, “Being in Newport Band taught me responsibility and how to be a part of a group and have my actions directly impact the good of everyone. …I learned how awesome it felt to be successful when you earned every bit of it.”

To buy a ticket, volunteer, or donate an item to the gala visit More information is available via email at

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