Snohomish teacher’s students return for fundraising concert Sunday

Each spring since 2007, retired Snohomish High School choral director Patrick Castro has hosted a fundraising concert, with proceeds going to the Patrick Castro Excellence in Vocal Music Scholarship through the Snohomish Education Foundation.

These concerts are enthusiastically supported by many of his former students, who volunteer to sing and serve on the scholarship committee. Last year, Snohomish grad Billie Wildrick, fresh from Broadway show, came home to headline the concert.

The next fundraiser, including a silent auction, is set for 2 p.m. March 30, in the school’s performing arts center, 1316 Fifth St. Cost is $20 for adults, $15 for students and seniors or $50 for a family. Doors open at 12:30 p.m.

The scholarship is Castro’s attempt to encourage vocal music students to follow their hearts.

“As a kid, I had a mind-set of failure,” Castro said. “But my family was musical and my teachers were great, and that’s what saved me.”

Castro graduated in 1969 from Mountlake Terrace High School, attended Everett Community College, graduated from the University of Puget Sound with a degree in music education and later earned a master’s degree in voice from Central Washington University. Retired in 2005, Castro served as a music teacher at Snohomish High for nearly 25 years.

The theme of this year’s concert “Chase the Wind, Touch the Sky” is based on the Alexander Mandel song from the animated film, “Brave.”

Sarah Edmonds, who graduated from Snohomish High in 1989, will perform “Touch the Sky.” Edmonds, now 43 and living in Everett, sings with the 12th Fret Band and the band Sea of Green.

“I make a living as a professional singer. Music is a huge part of my life,” Edmonds said. “Pat Castro had a lot to do with that. It’s so important to him that kids have music.”

Also singing on the program are Ellie Baxter, a fifth-grader at Dutch Hill Elementary School, Emma Lande, an eighth grader from Centennial Middle School and the award-winning Snohomish High Women’s Ensemble directed by Jaci Cummings.

Castro scholarship winners on the concert program include Alexandra Dreher; who studies at Pacific Lutheran University; Brooke Stack St. Marie, Boise State University; Joshua St. Marie, Berklee College of Music; and Annie Laurie Hund, Seattle Pacific University.

The featured performer is Megan Chenovick, a lyric coloratura soprano who has sung leading operatic and musical theater roles throughout the region.

She will be joined by Snohomish High graduate and former Castro student Joel Cummings, a tenor who has performed with Chenovick in Skagit Opera productions.

Cummings earned degrees in music from Pacific Lutheran University and the New England Conservatory of Music. He has performed in regional opera, including in Tacoma, Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., and has soloed with the Cascade Symphony, Everett Chorale and other organizations. Cummings teaches voice at Trinity Lutheran College in Everett and Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon.

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; gfiege@heraldnet.com.

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