The Friends of the Performing Arts (FPA) is a totally volunteer organization with one goal, “To promote and support the arts in Quincy Public Schools.” The FPA has championed the cause of the Quincy Public Schools Fine Arts programs in the Quincy Public Schools and has become its primary booster organization for all QPS arts groups. The organization was founded by Kathleen Dooley in 1996 with the assistance of Kent Snider, Jackie Schlipmann, Cindy Foster, George Fuhr, Christina Evans and Bill Holliday in response to many budget cuts that fine arts groups in the Quincy Public Schools Fine Arts were experiencing. Since their inception, the FPA has purchased and maintained many instruments, production royalties, equipment, and technology for QPS students in all levels that otherwise have been cut from the school district’s budget. It is because of the efforts of FPA that many of our programs are still available for Quincy students today.
A fundraising event that has been added in recent years with great support from the FPA is Octoberfest. This all day marching band festival features bands from several states in an afternoon parade and an evening field competition. Numerous awards are presented at the conclusion of this popular event including the Ragan Knapheide Outstanding Percussion Award, the Heibreder Drum Major Award, the Randy Hoover Outstanding Soloist Award and the James Burns Outstanding Brass Award. Over 250 QPS parent volunteers and alumni help to make this event an annual fall classic for the entire Quincy community.
Another major fundraising event held in the spring is the Showcase of Excellence Invitational Show Choir and Jazz Band Competition, Each year over 40 show choirs and jazz bands from Illinois, Iowa and Missouri compete throughout this two day event. Nationally known adjudicators critique each group as they perform for “standing room only” audiences. The event has multiple facets including a vocal solo contest, a style show and a jazz improvisation contest. Local Quincy hotels and restaurants benefit from the many schools that travel to Quincy with their families for the event and stay the entire weekend. Once again, over 500 parent and alumni volunteers make the event possible each year.