Music fest will benefit Southern schools


PORTLAND – The Everybody Deserves Music Festival will be held Monday, April 24, at the St. Lawrence Arts & Community Center, with proceeds benefiting the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation effort to restore music programs in schools affected by Hurricane Katrina.

The festival will kick off with the Pastel Sound Explosion performing classical and jazz works arranged by University of Southern Maine music student Asher Platts.

The 20-piece jazz orchestra will perform arrangements of “Gymnopedies” by Erik Satie, “Footprints in the Snow” by Debussy and original jazz compositions by Platts.

The remainder of the evening will focus on emerging local talent. Rachel Griffin, Nigel Hall and The Get Band will perform with the support of the Pastel Sound Explosion jazz orchestra.

“I enjoy writing music for a large ensemble. I’ve asked the bands and local artists who are participating to join the event because I enjoy their music and their message,” said Asher Platts of Gorham, who created the festival.

The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation supports music education nationwide through the donation of new and refurbished musical instruments to schools, community music programs, and individual students. The organization has been working to help put instruments back into the hands of children affected by Hurricane Katrina. For more information, visit or