A local family really loves the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. They laugh at thier British wit and have a deep respect for the musician's talent. The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain was founded 30 years ago. They have sold out concerts all over the world and thier music has been featured in movies, television shows, plays and commericals. In order to experience this performance in their own town (for the second time we might add) they gave the Avalon Foundation a grant to offset 100% of the costs associated with the production.
In talking to the Orchestra’s management, they agreed to perform as part of the Avalon Foundation’s outreach program, accepting only an extra night of hotel rooms as payment. As part of the trade that the Avalon Foundation has with the Tidewater Inn (goodwill from the Summer Concert Series sponsorship), the cost of those rooms is in trade.
Last week, using the outreach funds saved through the Orchestra’s generosity, the Avalon Foundation was able to contract with internationally known singer/songwriter and ukulele celebrity Victoria Vox (she has been featured on Late Night with Jay Leno and on the front page of the Wall Street Journal). She travelled into each Talbot County Fourth Grade classroom (public school) to connect with students about her instrument and as a positive artistic role model. Think of it as a mini-residency designed to prepare the fourth grade students for the show that they will see tomorrow.
Tomorrow at 9:30am nearly 400 Talbot County fourth graders will be bused to the Avalon Theatre to experience the same wit and musicianship that our local sponsoring family has come to love. They will know to look at the different instruments and think about the different sounds that they make and why, because of the time they were able to spend with Ms. Vox. They will know to be thoughtful about how each member of an orchestra is often playing different notes than the musician sitting next to them but as they work together; that is how their orchestral music is made. Maybe they will consider signing up for their school’s band when the opportunity presents to them early in fifth grade.
Tomorrow night at 7pm (a Tuesday night!) at least 334 people (ticket sales to the show as of 9:23am this morning) will come to Downtown Easton. Many will wander shops and eat dinner or have drinks at the local restaurants. These people will enjoy that same wit and musicianship that our local sponsoring family loves. They will get the chance to see a show that would not be possible without the generosity of their neighbors.
As a result of the directed grant covering the costs of the 7pm performance, the $12,825+ in admissions to the 7pm performance will be put toward serving the Avalon Foundation’s mission to improve the quality of life for the citizens of this community. Last year this work positively impacted the lives of people over 158,000 times and included programing as diverse as 160 concerts, the Easton Farmers Market and the largest outdoor painting competition in the United States, Plein Air Easton. This is the work of the Avalon Foundation.
Just what I’m thinking about on a Monday morning, as I’m feeling grateful for all of the people who work so hard to make this work possible and feeling motivated to continue to do more.
Jessica Rogers has been the General Manager of the Avalon Foundation for the last eleven years. Tickets to tomorrow night's Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain can be purchased here.