Band throws magic show as fundraiser

Abra cadabra! ‘Oohs’ and ‘ahhhs’ scatter the audience as cards flutter across the stage and bunnies and bowling balls appear out of thin air as three magicians from the Magic Castle entertained students and family in the PAC.

Newbury Park’s band program held the magic show on Feb. 23, inviting families and friends for a night of surprise. Band got half of the profit from the show; the cost was $10 at the door for performances from three different talented magicians from the Magic Castle of Los Angeles.

The magicians entertained the audience with jokes and frequently called up volunteers, including Dennis Crystal, band director, to take part in their performance.

“The need to raise money for the arts programs and the band programs is constant. So, we need — as students, as band parents, as teachers that run the band program here — to work together to fund our programs largely on our own,” Crystal said. “We do get money from the school and the school district and that’s very helpful, it’s just not enough to fund all the things that we do.”

As a result of minimal funding, the band program is constantly searching for new ways to support themselves: “We’re always looking for things to do to raise money for the band program, but also add value to the community. Putting on a magic show is something that almost anybody would want to go to. It was a lot of fun, the magic was pretty fantastic and it seemed that would be a better option than trying to sell candy bars or some of the other typical stuff,” Crystal said.

In past years, the band has had fundraisers ranging from golf tournaments to mattress sales, and they decided to take on a different approach in the hopes to attract more people. Each band member had to sell five tickets over the course of three weeks so that they could get the word out.

Dasha Manzhos, senior, felt that although the turnout was decent, other past fundraisers worked better. “I don’t think this fundraiser worked better than previous years, so I don’t think we’re going to do it again. It was about 160 people or so. We could’ve done better but it wasn’t a tragic fail,” Manzhos said.

Grace Renouf-Bilanski, junior and three year band member, enjoyed the performance and thought it was an excellent first magic show fundraiser.

“I thought the performance went great,” Renouf-Bilanski said. “It was really funny and I loved how the band director Mr. Crystal participated.”

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