ONLY ON SUNRISE: Local student fundraising to tune up band department

Chippewa Falls, WI (WEAU) - Any artist can appreciate the musical styles from Mozart to Beethoven to Bach, but expressing the meaning behind the music is a different story. For one high school student at chi-hi, she's doing more than just playing music. She's finding ways to tune up the band department with a unique fundraiser.

"Most people laugh because it's a funny idea,” explains Junior Dawn Paukner.

For the past 5 years, Dawn Paukner and her fingers have played alto-saxophone

She adds, "My mom plays the saxophone."

As a junior, she's looking to do more than just to come to band and play this year.

"Like all things it started as a joke, Dawn Paukner approached me and said I should just sing all the music for our concert. People would pay to come see it. I was like ok yeah right,” says Mike Renneke, Chi-Hi Band Director.

"I was like, you should just put on a one man musical. I'm sure people would pay to see that. He was like yeah whatever Dawn,” says Paukner.

But a deal was formed between student and band director.

"If Dawn raises, 1,000 dollars, I'm going to put on a one man musical where I'm going to sing. Its 7 brides for 7 brothers, and there's 7 guys and 7 girls and I'm going to play all 14 characters at once. Dawn doesn't know this, but I've got some special guests lined up,” says Renneke.

"Mostly I know were going to get there,” says Paukner.

So far, she's at $301 and no matter the amount, it helps the band department at Chi-Hi.

Renneke says, "This money would partly go toward [one] fund, which provides financial support for students in need. The other part of it will go toward our new uniform fund. We've got uniforms that are 30 years old."

Yet, the lessons in here go far beyond these walls. It builds bonds among friends as well as teachers

Paukner says, "That's one of the main reasons I have so many friends. Freshman year marching band, it started before the school year. As soon as school started I had 150 friends already."

"Music allows them to express themselves in ways that an English paper or a math problem can't,” explains Renneke.

If you are interested in donating, you can write a check to Chi-Hi explaining what its purpose. Feel free to email Dawn Paukner at