It’s a journey: musical marathon of the group Skyview

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Dozens of students from the Skyview High School band took out their instruments this weekend for a 24-hour music marathon.

If you went shopping today at the Salmon Creek or Grand Central Fred Meyer stores or ate at the Beaches Restaurant and Bar, you’ve probably seen them. The marathon, a “musicathon”, began at 7 a.m. on Saturday as students took turns playing in small groups at each of these locations in rotation throughout the day.

And the kids won’t stop playing until 11 p.m.

In total, the students will have played for 24 hours this weekend by the time they put away their instruments on Sunday evening after eight consecutive hours of performance. The purpose of this long performance is to raise funds for a Memorial Day weekend at the Great America theme park near San Francisco, where approximately 80 students from the Skyview Orchestra and Wind Ensemble will participate at a national music festival.

“What Great America is putting in place for us is a chance for us to play, a chance for us to get input from extremely skilled umpires,” said Tim Heichelheim, director of the school’s orchestra. “Then we’ll try to show them some of the more cultural neighborhoods in San Francisco.”

All weekend donations will go toward funding the trip, he said. In all, Heichelheim would like to raise $35,000, which would be enough to cover all the costs for each of his students, but he realizes that’s a lofty goal.

“In an ideal world, if we got $35,000, everyone would get paid for their trip,” Heichelheim said. “We know we probably won’t achieve that goal, but as a group we do everything together, and I don’t want to travel if someone can’t go.”

By 5:30 p.m. Saturday, the students had raised about $1,000, he said. But Heichelheim hoped they would have a fairly successful run on Sunday.

“It’s a tricky time of year, because everyone is so busy,” he said. “But it’s also one of the most promising times of the year when it comes to everyone’s generosity.”

On Sunday, students will play from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Salmon Creek Fred Meyer and outside Nordstrom at Westfield Vancouver Mall.

For more information about the event or how to donate, visit http://www.svbd.org and click on Musicathon Fundraiser.

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