Mercer Island High School musicians to visit Australia in 2015 | Community briefs

Mercer Island High School musicians to visit Australia in 2015

The Mercer Island High School Band Program’s Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Wind Symphony and Percussion Ensemble will be traveling to Australia to participate in a number of performances including the Australian National Band Championships, held in Sydney in April, 2015.

While in Australia their tour will include a clinic with the internationally renowned conductor of the Sydney Conservatory, John Lynch, and performances in Darling Harbour, Newcastle, and at a Newcastle Jets professional football game.  The group will also participate in exchanges with Australian students including home stays with the ‘Marching Koalas,’ a national youth honor marching band.

Each student’s family is responsible for the cost of their student’s trip, estimated to be $4,000 each.

Throughout the next year, band members will be doing a variety of things to earn money towards the cost of their trip.

The first fundraising opportunity is a big, multi-family garage sale that will be held between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Saturday, June 7, at Islander Middle School.  Over sixty families will band together to sell treasures.  There will be furniture, appliances, cookware, sporting goods, clothing, books, toys and much more.

This will be an opportunity to support the band and find great items at affordable prices, organizers said.

Is solar energy right for your home

The City of Mercer Island is launching a solar installation campaign this summer. The goal is for 30 to 60 homes to install solar power to help power their homes.

According to the city, with tax credits and incentives from the state, studies have shown that these rooftop systems pay back in just six to nine years. After that you’re making free solar power for another 20 to 30 years, organizers said.

By participating in the program, homeowners will get about 15 percent off regular installation costs, and it’ll all be done and operating within months.

If you attend a 90-minute info workshop, you can get a free site visit to assess your location.

There are even options if your roof is too shaded. To pre-register for the June 3 workshop, visit: Workshops start June 3.

Donate to MIYFS  and win a Leaf

The City of Mercer Island is offering a free two-year lease on a new Nissan Leaf to the winner of a raffle to benefit Mercer Island Youth and Family Services. There are a limited number of tickets being sold for the car at $20 each. The drawing will be held at 5 p.m., Sunday, July 13 during Summer Celebration at the Youth and Family Services booth. Entrants do not have to be present to win. You can take a test drive are on Sunday, June 10, at the Farmer’s Market. For more information and for how to enter, go to

Ted Rand’s art at  Governor’s Mansion

The Governor’s Mansion Foundation has announced that an exhibit of works by the late Mercer Island artist Ten Rand, will be hung in the Mansion Gallery for the coming year.

The Mansion’s art curator, Beverly Graham said, “Mr. Rand was an enormous talent who left behind thousands of works of art covering the broadest of subject matter and styles. It is with great pride that we are able to exhibit some of his works.”

Rand was born Dec. 27, 1915, at home on Mercer Island during one of the worst snowstorms on record for the Seattle area. His father, Willis Rand, was the superintendent of the Boys Parental School, later named Luther Burbank School, the remains of which still stand in Luther Burbank Park. Rand worked as a graphic artist and illustrator for Frederick and Nelson and The Bon Marche and later went on to teach illustration at the University of Washington.

Rand, who died in 2005, illustrated 79 books, many for his wife, author Gloria Rand, including the popular “Salty Dog” series of children’s books. The Mercer Island Library also has examples of Rand’s art.

For more, go to

Film on Stanley Ann Dunham at SIFF

The Seattle International Film Fesitval will be screening “Obama Mama,” the world premiere of a new documentary about Stanley Ann Dunham, the mother of President Barack Obama.

The documentary by former Seattleite, Vivian Norris tracks the journey of Stanley Ann from birth in the Midwest through her teen years on Mercer Island to Hawaii, Indonesia and beyond. The film includes a series of interviews with Stanley’s high school friends, many of whom still live on Mercer Island.

To find out film times and locations, go to


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