Morton community honors late music teacher with a memorial concert

Local News

MORTON, Ill. (WMBD) — The saying goes ‘where words leave off, music begins,’ and that stands true for the Groveland-Morton Community. Heidi White, a music teacher for the Morton Potters, died in 2004 at the age of 27.

Money raised for an endowment fund in her honor gives scholarships for deserving students in the music department.

“By giving the students just that extra nudge to go out and pursue their dreams, that’s all it takes,” said Katrina Fitzpatrick, a band director for Morton Junior High School. “It’s just so impactful to me to know that Heidi’s gone, but over the years, she’s still inspired 50 students just to be their best.”

Each spring, the district celebrates her life though a memorial concert.

“Music is especially important to all the kids and faculty in our school district,” said Scott Witzig, the executive director for the Morton Community Foundation. “So it’s really great that this particular endowment is supportive of all those different programs.”

Captured at Memorial Stadium on 14 Sep 2019 by Jonathan Bonaguro.

This year, the University Of Illinois drumline will headline. The drumline consists of 12 snares, 6 tenors, 7 bass drums and 12 cymbals.

Fitzpatrick said this showcase allows students to know there is a future in music.

“So often, students just think of themselves here in middle school like, ‘I’m in middle school and I’ve played the trumpet for two years,'” said Fitzpatrick. “But by bringing in groups such as After Hours, or the quartet from Bradley, or the Marching Illini, these are people who started off the same way. They started in school music programs and now they’re performing at the collegiate and professional levels. The message is to the students, you may be here now, but the possibilities are endless.”

The memorial concert is set for March 30. It begins at 6:30 p.m. at Grace Church, located at 1325 E. Jefferson Street.

The concert will also contain the artistic talents of the B Naturals, Bum Bums, MJHS and MHS Jazz Bands, Limited Edition Choir, Combined Prelude, PB&J, and Keaton Weber as the emcee.

Tickets are purchased at the door for $5 per person or $20 for a family.

Proceeds from the concert will be donated to the Heidi White Scholarship Fund and the Heidi White Memorial Music Endowment Fund at the Morton Community Foundation

If viewers can’t make it to the concert but would like to donate to White’s endowment fund, CLICK HERE.

The mission of Unit School District 709 is to serve the Groveland-Morton community by stimulating a desire for life-long learning, graduating productive individuals, and challenging all to achieve their highest potentials as active participants and leaders in a dynamic, global society.

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