Ronan band goes on tour

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STUDENTS WITH the Ronan High School Instrumental Program went on tour, ending in Portland, Oregon in March. (Photo provided)

The Ronan High School Instrumental Program went on tour March 20 - 24 with a destination in Portland, Oregon.

Forty-seven students, five chaperones, two buses, one van and a truck with a trailer headed to the first performance venue, the old Paradise School stage, to perform for students from Plains. The stage was quickly transformed and the Ronan Concert Band entertained their audience with three selections. Next up was the 10-member Percussion Ensemble performing two selections using mallet instruments and a variety of drums. The last group to take the stage was the RHS Jazz Band. This 18-member group performed a variety of big band selections for the audience. The host music teacher, Brittany Nichols, and her students were very appreciative. Plains Superintendent Tom Chisolm invited the bands back any time.

The truck and trailer made their way back to Ronan and the rest of the entourage made its way to Portland.

The next morning it was a short bus ride to Molalla High School for a band exchange. Matt Ferris, director from Molalla, explained the schoolís Native history and read a story about the Coyote and Bear, then presented RHS band director Alicia Lipscomb and the Ronan students with strawberries. He also gave Mrs. Lipscomb a Molalla band shirt. Their symphonic wind band played for the Ronan students. Next up were the RHS groups. After grabbing lunch and traveling down some very narrow streets, it was onto Beaumont Middle School for the next performances. After a late afternoon lunch-dinner, the group headed back to the hotel to send the Jazz Band up to Vancouver to play at the Veterans Community Living Center. This very special performance was not only meaningful for the veterans and caregivers that attended but for the students performing. Bus driver Jimís lovely wife shared with the kids on the bus ride back to the hotel how meaningful the experience was and thanked them for the experience.

Once the performances were done, the Ronan crew were able to do some sightseeing in downtown Portland with a guided walking tour, a little shopping time, and an amazing evening concert with the Oregon Symphony playing the music of Jurassic Park during the showing of the movie.

Students worked very hard fundraising all year to be able to go on tour.

There are still opportunities to see the RHS students perform.

First is at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 13 as the Jazz Band Dinner Dance entertains in the high school gym. Tickets are $15 for dinner and dessert. To reserve a ticket, call (406) 676-3390, extension 7501.

Next, the Spring Fling featuring the entire RHS performing arts department will start at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 21 and Tuesday, May 22. Tickets are $5.

Dinner and show tickets will be available again this year.

Mrs. Lipscomb would like to thank the students for all of their hard work; the chaperones, Theresa, Crystal, Connie, Holly and Roger for helping to make the trip a success; St. Charo, for lending us their van, truck and trailer and supporting us in so many ways, Jim and Judy for being amazing drivers in city traffic as well as every kind of weather imaginable, for the administration and school board at RHS for their continued support of the arts in our schools.

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