The Mentor Orchestra program includes over 450 students. Our program begins in 5th grade where students can choose their instrument and receive basic instruction in a small group lesson once per week. In middle school, students have orchestra every day. They can also audition to participate in our Chamber and Rock orchestras. At the high school, we offer three levels of orchestra during the school day including a full Symphony Orchestra. Our Mannheim orchestra offers an extra opportunity for our top string players to engage with challenging repertoire. Our students regularly participate in OMEA Solo and Ensemble and Large Group Contest with great success. Each year the Ohio Regional and State orchestras feature several of our Mentor students.
Mentor has the only orchestra program in Lake County and it’s one of the strongest programs in the state. Few schools are able to offer such a high quality musical education, but our success cannot be attributed to the school alone. Our family’s support is what makes our program outstanding. Without our dedicated students, parents, friends, and family members, our orchestra would not be where it is today.
As with everything else, running such a large and involved program incurs costs beyond what Mentor Schools is able to provide us. Each year, our Mentor Orchestra Association raises around $11,000 to support our students. This money covers a wide variety of items like scholarships, professional sectional coaches, Mannheim camp activities, music and material purchases, and special opportunities and activities for our students. One of MOA’s recent large projects was purchasing a new cello for Ridge Middle School. MOA has been partnering with the band parent organization to upgrade the technology in our middle school music rooms. Last year MOA purchased a flat-screen display for Memorial. This year’s special project is to upgrade the display and sound system technology at Shore.
MOA usually runs two major sales per year to meet our budget needs, selling candles, bags, coupon cards, etc. It’s an unfortunate fact that most fundraisers only return 40-50% of the amount families give to our group. This year we are trying something totally new. We are kicking off our fundraising with our BowFundMe campaign with a goal of raising $7,500 by January. If each family donates $30 we will meet that goal easily. You can donate right here in a quick and easy process and our orchestra will see 92% of what you donate. You also have the option to donate in person at our concerts, or through the envelopes that are being sent home with your children.
MOA is a registered, non-profit organization with tax exempt status. Donors can deduct contributions they make as provided in IRC Section 170 (excluding GoFundMe fees). Please visit our website www.mentororchestra.com to keep up-to-date with everything going on with our program.
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