"Allegro is like a family," says Celia Balderston, a Hinsdale Central High School junior. "We really bond during tour."
Generations of students in the Allegro Handbell Ensemble have grown together as musicians and leaders during the group's tours. They will perform in Scotland and Ireland this summer if they can raise the $50,000 required.
"I'm looking forward to exploring that part of the world with my friends," says Tine Greene, a 12th grade student at Downers Grove North High School. Greene has played handbells for eight years and plans to study architectural engineering next year in college.
"Since our group started touring in 1978 no student has ever paid a dime out of pocket. We raise all the funds by ourselves," says Hinsdale Central senior Matt Anderson. "The tour costs about $50,000 and we've raised about $30,000."
Allegro was joined by Union Bells, the Shadows of Bronze, Cantate, and others in a special fundraising concert on March 22 to benefit the tour. Over the years, our students also sold enormous amounts of groceries through the Market Day program. This funds our music education and leadership development program which includes an intensive performance experience in an annual summer. Every fourth year, Allegro takes their music to Europe.
"We need your help," says director Stephen Edwards. "These students have worked so hard, learned so much. This tour is an important educational experience. They'll also be giving a day of service in addition to their musical performances," he says.
Donors to the Indiegogo campaign can choose from a selection of "perks" from a shoutout on the Allegro website, to sponsoring individual handchimes and handbells (which will cost about $5,000 collectively to ship across the ocean), to commemorative shirts.
"Every donation, whether $5 or $5,000, counts," says Edwards. "Thank you."