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More than 80 silent auction items drew lots of attention and bids at the Portuguese-American Club. Photos by Ralph Stewart
Auction raises voices and money
To call the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School Minnesingers a chorus is an understatement. Under the tutelage of directors Dan Murphy and Jan Wightman, this dedicated cadre of singers is molded each year into an exemplary group whose voices meld, swirl, and soar together with strength and intricacy. The annual Minnesingers Auction at the Portuguese-American Club in Oak Bluffs Saturday night was an opportunity for the Island community to support the Minnesingers by bidding on a wide variety of items generously donated by Island businesses and individuals. From the moment the doors opened until the gavel landed on the final item, the evening had a warm, open atmosphere in which friends and family gathered to celebrate the talent and dedication of these adolescent singers.
The Minnesingers gave a mini concert at their benefit last Saturday.
Audience members had the opportunity to bid on 72 live auction and 87 silent auction items. A cursory glance over the offerings gave a sense of the breadth and depth of the Island's generosity. Jewelry, pizza parties, and paintings by Allen Whiting and Enos Ray mingled with a romantic getaway package at the Charlotte Inn and a ski vacation at the Whistler ski resort in British Columbia. Book lovers could select autographed works by Bill and Hillary Clinton and "Clifford" creator Norman Bridwell. Auctioneer John Powers coaxed and cajoled the audience for bids until by evening's end the entire auction had netted over $15,000.
Abby Bailey displays two books being auctioned off last Saturday night at the Minnesinger benefit.
Julie Perry, a junior who traveled to Ireland last year with the choir, says participation in the Minnesingers results in learning how to work cooperatively with your peers.
Julian Wise is a frequent contributor to The Times, specializing in music, film, and the performing arts.