Monday Musicale to raise scholarships for students with Sunday concert

By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News

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PORT ANGELES — When pianist and cellist Thelma McCoy found out some of the younger Port Angeles Symphony musicians around here were struggling with the high cost of college, she didn't just sit there.

“She literally passed the hat,” said Gary McRoberts, who now runs the annual event that sprang from that hat.

McCoy, an orchestra member and music teacher, raised maybe $50 in grass-roots financial aid on that day. She also started a tradition that would, in the ensuing 46 years, gather $120,000 to send local students to college.

The Monday Musicale Scholarship Benefit, a diverse performance by local players, happens every year now.

And though it's named after the Monday Musicale performance series at Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Port Angeles, it is a singular event held on an autumn Sunday.

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 301 E. Lopez Ave., is the venue for this Sunday's 2 p.m. program, to be hosted by Arts Northwest's Karen Hanan.

Tickets at the door are $10 per person while additional donations are welcome, as proceeds will go to the scholarship fund.

Four local ensembles are donating their time for Sunday's concert, McRoberts noted.

They're mixed in age and musical genre, while sharing the desire to raise some money to help Port Angeles' next generation of musicians. The lineup of performers goes like this.

■ Jolene Dalton Gailey, director of the high school's choral program, will make one of her few appearances as a solo vocalist during Sunday's concert. For her 20-minute set she's chosen “Good Morning, Heartache,” the song made famous by Billie Holiday, and “Cry Me a River,” among other standards. Her backup band is drummer John Doster and bassist Erik Eyestone, both Port Angeles High seniors.

■ The Port Angeles High School Chamber Orchestra, under the baton of Ron Jones, will play a classical set.

■ Deka, a brand-new trio with violinist Kate Powers, McRoberts on the piano and Marlenea Moore playing cello, will play Haydn's Trio No. 1 in C Major and Mendelssohn's first trio in D Minor. McRoberts gave the group its name, an alternate spelling for the Greek deca, denoting 10. Powers is the youngest player at 13 years old and McRoberts the eldest at 72, so “we cover several decades,” he quipped.

■ The Old Sidekicks will round out the afternoon with a country set.

“The performers we have are all top-notch and all homegrown,” said McRoberts. “It's the local people giving back for the students.”

Those who cannot make it Sunday are encouraged to send donation checks to the scholarship fund, payable to Monday Musicale benefit chairman Gary McRoberts at 955 S. McCrorie Road, Port Angeles, WA 98362.

Last modified: November 02. 2013 11:58PM
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