Students Raise Funds by Caroling in the Season : Education: Musicians at William S. Hart High will perform seasonal songs to support their school program.

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High school band boosters have what they think may be one of the better sounding gift ideas of the holiday season.

For a $50 donation, members of William S. Hart High School music programs will perform 20 minutes of instrumental caroling during December.

"Can you imagine the look on someone's face when a full brass, woodwind or sax quartet shows up with a gift card and puts on a performance right on their front lawn?" said George Stone, band director for the school.

Performances by the ensembles are of traditional holiday music that have been arranged by Stone.

Proceeds from the fund-raiser will be used to buy and maintain instruments and uniforms and cover additional band-related expenses.

"The kids are really professional. They do an excellent job," said Barbara House, a band booster club member who is scheduling the community performances. "They try out to be in the groups. It's based on their ability and not just wanting to do it."

House said the fund-raisers are important not only for the money they generate, but also because they allow students to get involved in supporting Hart High School's music activities.

Participants raised $1,500 to $2,000 during each of the two prior years of the program, and hope to earn $2,000 this year.

The ensembles have previously performed at a local shopping center, retirement center and private gatherings and are scheduled to play at the swearing in of Santa Clarita's new mayor next month.

"It's amazingly mixed," said Karen Adams, president of the booster club. "We get everything from private parties to car dealerships and banks."

One engagement last year even had a quartet playing at the birthday party of a rival Saugus High School band member.

"Last year's quartets were so popular we couldn't keep up with all the requests," Adams said.

The performances are available most evenings and weekends during December.

Reservations for the instrumental caroling program can be arranged by calling the Hart Music Boosters at (805) 255-7859.

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