Rotary Supports Pacific Palisades High School Band

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Rotary President Marie Tran was joined by PaliHi student Finn Dunne, Hagop Tchakerian (center), Band Director Peter Ye and student Bernard Kim at a recent Rotary luncheon.

Palisades High School Band Director Peter Ye, and PaliHi students Bernard Kim and Finn Dunne, attended a Palisades Rotary luncheon at Modo Mio, where they enjoyed lunch before they were presented with $1,000 check to be used towards the band program.

“It’s really awesome when we got a donation,” Ye said.  “This will help support all of our students.”

The director explained the school donates about $10,000 for the band, but that they need to raise nearly $100,000 annually. Money is used to pay for uniforms, competitions, instrument repair and coaches. Families are asked to donate $1,000, but not everyone can afford that.

“It falls on the students and their families to raise the money,” said Dunne, who said that in addition to asking for donations, the band also holds a fundraiser via “Snap! Raise,” on a digital platform.

The band of 50 members and six members of the color guard received second in their first competition with their show “Out of Darkness.” The band performed in the WBA Class Championships in Ontario on November 19 and in preparation, they performed at half time of the semi-final football game between Pali and Narbonne on November 18.  Class 2A, includes bands that have between 45 and 75 members.

“It’s been a lot of fun, we work on a lot of things,” said clarinet player Kim. He started playing the instrument in third grade at Brentwood Science Magnet at the urging of his parents. He joined the Revere orchestra and continues with music at PaliHi.

Dunne, a trumpet player, said he went out for band at Revere because “It felt like it would be fun.” Of the 85 students who signed up, “21 chose the trumpet,” he said. “It was first come, first serve.”

When they were given the check, Kim said, “Thank you so much,” and Dunne added, “Thank you, this really helps everybody. This helps those who can’t afford it.”

After hearing the youth and band director speak, resident and former newspaper editor Bill Bruns, who was the Rotary guest speaker, also wrote a check for the program.

The money donated to the band from the Rotary was raised with help from Palisades Honorary Mayor Eugene Levy, comic and Emmy winner for Shitt’s Creek. He agreed to dine for charity, helping raise money for local youth causes. Last year, the Palisades Rotary Club sold 100 tickets ($100 each) for the opportunity to share a meal with the star.

The event raised nearly $10,000. Half of the money was given to the Palisades YMCA for scholarships and the other half is being used for community youth projects.

Rotary Youth Services chair Perry Atkins said, “An area of particular interest for committee is the students in our public schools.” In addition to the YMCA, and the band, money was donated to the newly formed robotics club at Paul Revere Middle School.

If a resident would like to donate to the band program, email Peter Ye: pye@Palihigh.org.

Bill Bruns gave a check to Palisades High School band director Peter Ye.

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