Richmond High School Music Department Director Andrew Wilke recently launched a GoFundMe with the aim of raising funds to send his young musicians to Disneyland to march and perform.
The RHS students marched at the theme park for the first time last year, and the experience “motivated our students beyond expectation,” Wilke said. The Band and Color Guard went on to secure several trophies during their competitive season, he said.
The RHS program has been invited back by Disney, which will entail a four-day, three-night trip. Wilke is trying to raise $7,000 for hotel stay and $19,000 for two buses to transport about 80 students to Disneyland.
“When most schools go on a trip like this the students are expected to foot the bill,” Wilke said. “However the majority of our students come from an economically disadvantaged background. So while our students pay for their tickets to the park, we are raising funds to pay for the two buses and hotel rooms for our 80-person marching band.”
Wilke said marching bands teach important lessons to students, such as personal responsibility, being a productive community member, and self-reflection.
“The students of the RHS marching band serve our community by providing music at community events and inspiring younger students to study music,” Wilke said. “Our department has a 100 percent graduation rate and over 90 percent of our graduating seniors go to college. Trips like this help provide motivation and inspiration to our students.”
To contribute to the GoFundMe, click here.