Jazz festival funding, enrollment starts now

Published on Thu, May 13, 2010 by By Tara Nelson

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Those wanting to get involved in this year’s annual Blaine Jazz Festival will want to do so now, either by donating or by signing up.

The event is scheduled from July 11 to 17 and is open to high school students of all ages.

Larry and Suzanne Conrad, of the Pacific Arts Association (PAA), which organizes the event, said donations are still needed to make this year’s event successful.

Last year, the PAA spent nearly $92,000 to pay professional musicians from around the country to tutor and perform with local students and offer scholarships to students who may not otherwise be able to afford the cost. A third of that funding came from Blaine’s Tourism Advisory Committee (BTAC) but the remaining $60,000 was raised through donations.

“This year, the fundraising is especially important because some students, if they can’t get at least a partial scholarship, they won’t be able to attend,” Suzanne said. “We’re hoping to get 100 students this year and many of them will need financial help.”

She added that no other city-sponsored program has the kind of return on their investment as the jazz festival.
Last year, for example, 96 students attended the camp and that many of the students’ parents stayed overnight in Blaine and ate meals in local restaurants, she said.

This year’s line-up includes New York Philharmonic bassoonist Martin Kuuskmann, of Blaine; percussionist Lou Abbott, of Florida; trombonist Bob Gray, of Blaine; pianist Jon Mutchler, of Blaine; and internationally recognized composer Greg Hopkins, of Massachusetts.

Tuition per student is $300 and registration runs through June. Payment in full is due at the time of registration. 
Housing and meal fees for the full week are $350 for out-of-town students. Optional private music or vocal lessons are also available for an additional $25 per half-hour.

For more information visit www.pacificartsassoc.org or www.blainejazzfestival.org.

Donations may be made by calling 360/676-5740 or mailing a check to P.O. Box 434, Blaine, Washington, 98231.