Staples musicians raise funds to replace sheet music destroyed by Hurricane Harvey
Updated 1:00 pm, Friday, October 20, 2017
WESTPORT — When Hurricane Harvey swept through Texas, it left a path of destruction in its wake. Beyond the big-ticket items like destroyed cars and flooded houses, the hurricane impacted the lives of residents there in smaller ways, too, and now the Staples High School Music Department is hoping to help in its own way.
The music department is partnering with a distributor of music books to help replace Texas public high school sheet music damaged in Hurricane Harvey.
All funds up to $10,000 raised by Westport Public Schools in the coming months will be matched by Melissa Luck, of Michigan-based Luck’s Music, which provides Westport with all of its music books.
“Luck realized that a lot of the schools in Texas really lost major music libraries. I sort of identified with that because Westport has an incredible music library and I thought, ‘What would it be like if we were flooded and we lost all of it?’ Even if those schools are back in session, there’s nothing to play,” said Adele Valovich, the Staples music teacher spearheading the efforts.
“I brought it to my orchestra kids and they were really excited about doing something to help,” she added.
To aid schools in the Houston area, the Staples High School Music Department will hold a series of fundraisers. Baskets were passed at Thursday night’s Staples Strings Concert. A recorded performance by the Staples Jazz Band will be shown side-by-side with footage of the damage incurred by the storm in a Texas high school music room, during halftime of the Oct. 27 Staples football game, also including a basket pass.
On Nov. 3, a “Chamber-a-Thon” will be held, in which a group of Staples students will perform chamber music broadcast on Westport’s public access television channels from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Viewers can call in and pledge money that will go toward sheet music for the Texas high school musicians.
Hurricane Harvey is not the first time Valovich wanted to lend a hand.
As early as 2005, Valovich had been looking for ways to send aid to music programs affected by hurricanes. In the weeks after Harvey hit Texas, Luck sent out an email to all the schools to which her company distributes offering to match their fundraising.
“When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, I was trying to find a way to help. But there was no way to get them music, no way to get them instruments. I think we’ve learned from that,” Valovich said. “So I was really excited to see Melissa (luck) reach out to the orchestra community and do the matching fund.”
Valovich said the music department will continue to host fundraising events through December. Those interested in donating can send a check to the Staples High School Music Department and write “Hurricane Harvey” on the check or envelope.