Students performed Pumpkin Stew, All I Want for Christmas is You and May the Music Never End at Monday’s school board meeting as a thank you to the Friends of Lacey Music, which recently disbanded.
“To the Friends of Lacey Music, thank you for your dedication and commitment to our student musicians who have entertained us year after year with their beautiful music and their song is directly attributed to the work that you have done and it is not easily described to others,” Superintendent Dr. Sandra Brower said.
The group recently decided to disband as leaders Jeffrey and Debbie Sanford stepped down with no one to take their place.
Cedar Creek Music Director Edward Brennan was with the group when the idea was first conceived more than 10 years ago, he said.
“It grew into quite an amazing entity and a fantastic thing for the students of Lacey Township,” he said.
Since their start in 2002, Friends of Lacey Music has given $200,000 in support of and in donations, including musical instruments, to the Lacey Township School District.
“It came down that they wanted to help not just one area but all areas and all age groups,” Brennan said.
The Friends of Lacey Music lent their support to band, chorus and the drama program at each of the schools, he said.
In 2005, the group purchased an equipment truck to transport the marching band, jazz band and drama club. Friends of Lacey Music plan to donate the truck to the district.
Just in November, the Board of Education approved $3,420 in donations by the Friends of Lacey Music.
Band Director Matthew Holmberg said the group was established before he even arrived in Lacey.
“Nine years later, I couldn’t have pulled off a whole lot without you,” he said.
Tears formed in some of the members eyes as students performed musical pieces as a thank you.
Board President Jack Martenak said the Friends of Lacey Music left an “indelible mark” on the Lacey Township School District, presenting the members with a proclamation.
"It's kind of an end of an era," parent and volunteer of Friends of Lacey Music Sherri Leiser previously said.
Despite disbanding, however, the group still believes in their cause.
"There are so many benefits to music education. It got the kids involved and out of trouble," Debbie Sanford previously said. "We believe strongly enough in music education to want to encourage it. We want to inspire on the lower levels and carry on throughout the high school."