Bank’s Generosity Jump-Starts Port High Performing Arts Center Fundraiser


A year ago, in December of 2019, the Port Washington High School Music Boosters sought to raise money to upgrade their current high school auditorium into a more state-of-the-art concert hall with a new acoustic cloud over the stage. The acoustic cloud that is to be installed over the stage is a set of panels designed to direct sound down toward the stage where performers are performing as well as outward into the audience. The result is a higher quality performance in which performers can hear themselves, and the audience has more professional listening experience. 

Though during the past two years, the current auditorium was recently gutted and remodeled with new seats and a new stage, as well as improved with an acoustic ceiling and wall panels, there was nothing added over the stage. And unfortunately, a few months after money-raising efforts started for the new acoustic cloud, the pandemic hit, putting a halt on efforts to raise capital for the new equipment. The ultimate goal of adding an acoustic cloud over the stage is to not only benefit students but to also add value to the community by attracting professional musicians to the stage for all community members to enjoy.


In recent weeks, president and COO of Port Washington State Bank and former PWHS student James Schowalter, generously committed to matching donations up to $10,000 in an effort to jump-start community giving. Schowalter explained, “Young people need the opportunity to pursue their fine arts dreams in a first-class auditorium, and we are fortunate to have the resources to help contribute to a wonderful community cause.”

Sara Pashak, president of the Port Washington High School Music Boosters mentioned, “The timing of this donation is great because we’re still in a weird place with Covid-19 but we need to find a way to jump-start our fundraiser.”


The new acoustic cloud came with a price tag of $140,000; yet, due to the pandemic, there is a chance that the price will be reduced. So far $10,000 has been raised, and the goal of the High School Music Boosters is to raise $70,000. If the community responds favorably to the bank’s matching contribution effort, it’s possible the music boosters can triple their current funds collected. To cover the difference between the $140,000 cost of the new sound-enhancing equipment and the $70,000 goal of the music boosters club, the school district has money set aside to contribute.


If you’re interested in contributing to this worthy community-benefitting cause, please go online to or call Chris Clouthier at 268-5629 or email Chris at For donations of $100 or more, a donor can get his or her name added to a silver plate on the back of a seat in the auditorium.

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