Benefit will start `Bravissimo'

Local residents will want to mark their calendars for the Saturday, April 13, Evening of Music and Dancin' to benefit "Bravissimo," the First Annual Columbia Gorge Music and Arts Camp, which will premiere June 17-21. This year, the music and motivation camp will be open to local students between 5th and 9th grade.

The Evening of Music and Dancin' offers participants a lively, fun way to raise money for the camp by "making the rounds" of three local venues -- including the Full Sail Brewery and the River City Saloon -- to dance and hear live music. Drinks and snacks will be available for purchase at all venues.

Popular local bands to perform include Gipsy Ale, The Redhaired Boys, Henry Schifter, and the Cascade Trio. Well-known dance instructor Maureen Lee will be giving rudimentary salsa and swing lessons at one venue.

"Everyone is welcome and we hope the community will wholeheartedly support this fundraiser for a really wonderful cause," said co-chair Jean Harmon, a former Hood River Valley High School teacher. "Let's support this program and let's support our kids. It will be fun whether you come to dance or come to listen to the great music!"

Tickets are available at Waucoma Bookstore, Hood River County School District's Community Ed office at 1020 Montello Ave., Klindt's Book Sellers in The Dalles or by mail at "Bravissimo" Summer Camp, P.O. Box 508, Odell, OR 97044. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door, with checks payable to the Hood River County Education Foundation. One ticket will allow unlimited visits to the various venues. This event is open to those over 21 years of age.

Summer camp organizers Mark Steighner, Mike Schend and Joan Yasui Emerson are finalizing plans for the "funnest and most wonderful" music/arts learning opportunity for local youth this summer. Plans include instrumental music classes with outstanding teachers from around Oregon, enrichment classes in world music, movement, and composition, motivational activities and games, speakers, performances and more.

For more information on the April 13 fund-raising event, or to register for the one-week camp ($50 before April 10, $75 thereafter), please call the Community Education Office at 541-386-2055.

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