May 10, 1999
(Left to right) R.H.Y.T.H.M. Chair Valerie Schick, Seattle Western Swing Society member Robin Deeter, music director Lucy Yetter (with check), and R.H.Y.T.H.M. treasurer Sara Lambert.
Staff photo by Lisa Allen.
by Lisa Allen, Valley View editor
DUVALL--Two years ago, the Seattle Western Swing Society decided to budget $1,000 to give to a school with a strong music program.
Swing Society member Robin Deeter, a Duvall resident, searched high and low for a deserving school. She ended up finding it in her own back yard.
Deeter said parent involvement was what she was looking for and found it one day early this March when she noticed a Cedarcrest High School group called R.H.Y.T.H.M. was hosting a dinner dance featuring Larry Prig and the Resurrected Swing Band.
Investigating further, she found that R.H.Y.T.H.M.--Riverview Helping Youth to Have Music--is a dedicated group of parents, students, and staff who provide volunteer assistance for classes, concerts, and community events, and raises funds for scholarships, equipment, and uniforms. It was formed about seven years ago by a group of parents who were concerned over music education in schools.
Last week, Deeter handed over a $1,000 check to the organization. Out of that, $500 will go to a scholarship for a graduating senior, and $500 will be distributed to needy students for music camp.
"We hope to renew this yearly," Deeter said. "And in return, we would like to be informed of the progress of the students. We have several benefactors who have contributed who are interested in hearing about the students."
The Seattle Swing Society, a group of music lovers and performers, is based in Seattle, but has membership "all over," Deeter said. "Its purpose is the preservation and promotion of Western Swing. We were so impressed with the Cedarcrest organization that the board passed the grant unanimously."
Sara Lambert, R.H.Y.T.H.M. treasurer, explained that the group is like a "...PTA for music. We want to inspire kids to better music." She noted that the music program and band are growing every year. "The kids want it," she said.
Indeed, the high school students say it is an excellent program. Choir members Sarah Kintner, a sophomore, and Morgan Luce, a freshman, agreed the program has helped them out a lot.
"(Former R.H.Y.T.H.M. director) Ryan Lewis was very good at getting us involved," said Sarah.
Lucy Yetter recently replaced Lewis, who was called away for Army Reserve training.
Choir president Nicole Morck, a junior, said a lot of her friends are involved in music. Nicole said she has jazz choir practice at 6:30 a.m. three days a week, and Color Guard after school for two days a week. "It keeps me out of trouble," she said.