Organizers are hoping funds raised by a new music festival will help get the music programs at Olentangy Berlin High School off to a harmonious start.

The bands, choirs and orchestras of Liberty, Olentangy and Orange high schools will perform starting at 3 p.m. Sept. 16 in the stadium at Olentangy High School for the first All Olentangy Music Festival. The show, which also will feature rock bands with ties to the district, will serve as a fundraiser for Olentangy Berlin High School's music programs.

Donna Dyll, one of the event's organizers, said the show was inspired by a similar event conducted last fall in New Albany.

"We thought, what if we did something like this, bringing all high schools together?" she said.

Dave Grubbs, who also is helping to organize the festival, said he wants to capture the same laid-back feel he saw on display last year in New Albany.

"It was very light because everybody was having a good time performing," he said. "It wasn't a competition."

Dyll and Grubbs, both of whom previously served as board members for the Olentangy Music Boosters Association, also view the event as a novel way to launch Berlin's music programs.

Grubbs said in the past when a new school opened in the district, the existing booster groups seeded it money for expenses such as uniforms and a truck to move band equipment. Donors also typically pay for the equipment inside school concession stands, which are run by booster groups.

Grubbs said the festival could help build a war chest for Berlin and ease the burden on other booster groups in the district.

"We thought this would be perfect for what we're trying to accomplish," he said.

Grubbs estimated the cost of starting a new school's music programs at $50,000 or more. He said he doubts the concert can cover that full amount without significant contributions from sponsors.

While the high school bands will have a chance to shine at the show, so will musicians with ties to the district.

Liberty Deep Down, a local band featuring Liberty High School graduates, will play at the festival alongside Cure Culture and Fifth House.

Grubbs said Olentangy officials have been supportive of the idea of giving current students and graduates a place to shine.

"We all like the idea of being able to celebrate the talents of all of these kids," he said.

Tickets cost $10 at the gate, $8 in advance at localevelevents.com/events/ details/3520. People interested in sponsorship and volunteer opportunities may email organizers at olentangymusicfest@ gmail.com.

Dyll and Grubbs said they hope the event could become an annual occurrence in the district.

tgallick@thisweeknews.com

@twgallick