SMI performs at local Christmas event

Students+play+%22Deck+the+Halls%22+at+the+Kenmore+Christmas+Tree+Lighting+no+Dec.+2.+Musicians+%28from+left+to+right%29%3A+Ethan+Pickering%2C+Eric+Ni%2C+Naz+Astudillo+and+Melia+Baquian+on+the+saxophone+and+Beto+Palma+on+the+guitar.+Though+the+weather+was+rainy%2C+the+musicians+played+music+throughout+the+event%2C+raising+money+for+the+American+Cancer+Society.

Joanna Wyler

Students play "Deck the Halls" at the Kenmore Christmas Tree Lighting no Dec. 2. Musicians (from left to right): Ethan Pickering, Eric Ni, Naz Astudillo and Melia Baquian on the saxophone and Beto Palma on the guitar. Though the weather was rainy, the musicians played music throughout the event, raising money for the American Cancer Society.

Nicole Turtle, Reporter

On Sunday Dec. 2, the Student Music Initiatives (SMI) performed at Kenmore’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting, playing a collection of holiday jazz music including “Frosty the Snowman,” “Deck the Halls,” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

“It was a lot of fun,” SMI treasurer Ewan Brown, a senior, said.

“We had volunteers dancing around to the music with donation boxes and going up to talk to the community about our cause while people were enjoying the tree lighting, food trucks and activities there at city hall.”

SMI is a local non-profit organization where student musicians from Woodinville, Bothell, Inglemoor and other high schools in the area volunteer to play at different events and venues. Completely student-run, they help connect the community through music and a good cause.

“One of our main goals,” the SMI music director, junior Eric Ni, said, “is for the community to recognize us and what we do.”

The group organizes several events throughout the year and the donations of each go toward a charity. The most prominent of the events are their summer Fighting Hunger at the Hangar concert and fall Making Strides Against Breast Cancer concert at Centurylink Field in Seattle.

In addition to fundraising, SMI also uses these events as an opportunity to broaden their recognition within the community and to expand their volunteer base to include more students in and out of district.

“That’s a big part of what we stand for — showing the power of what kids can do,” Brown said.

The Kenmore Tree Lighting was just one in a series of performances for their seasonal Christmas Music for the Cure fundraiser. The first one took place on Black Friday, starting the season off strong by bringing in more money than they had in the past. The proceeds collected throughout these holiday season concerts will all be donated to the American Cancer Society to help fund cancer research.

SMI’s Christmas Music For the Cure concerts will occur throughout the holiday season and volunteers are always welcome. If interested in being a musician or a volunteer, contact SMI on Facebook @studentmusicinitiatives.