ECHS sophomore Rhykker Powell and freshman Ziah Young playfully fight over a musical instrument. The school’s band program is asking for donations of instruments or money to help purchase instruments.
ECHS sophomore Rhykker Powell and freshman Ziah Young playfully fight over a musical instrument. The school’s band program is asking for donations of instruments or money to help purchase instruments.

Band aid

Published 9:07pm Tuesday, August 13, 2013

It might not come from the “Wells Fargo Wagon,” but the band programs at Escambia County High School and Escambia County Middle School could still use some help.

Director Hayley Canterbury said the programs are planning several fundraisers, to raise money to buy instruments for a larger-than-expected number of students who signed up for the bands. In addition, Canterbury is asking for the community to donate any instruments that could help the band programs.

“Last year at the middle school we only had a program for seventh and eighth graders,” Canterbury said. “We opened the program to fifth and sixth graders this year and there are already 115 students on the roster. Those are just the ones who registered.”

The middle-school program currently has no student-owned instruments and very few school-owned instruments.

“There’s a bass clarinet, a French horn, a dinged-up trumpet and a flute that was left out in the rain,” she said.

In the meantime, Canterbury and assistant director Caleb Palmer are preparing for the upcoming school year by seeking out deals at local pawn shops, calling a U.S. Army surplus store in Montgomery and bringing in their personal instruments from home.

Even the smaller, less-expensive instruments are needed. Canterbury said plenty of students play the clarinet and flute, but many can’t afford the instruments, so “everything’s needed.” A donation of a musical instrument is tax-deductible, Canterbury said.

Canterbury said the school board has been “very good to us,” and has provided the funds needed to purchase a new oboe, flute and snare drum, as well as new method books.

The band just finished a doughnut fundraiser and will bag groceries at Piggly Wiggly on Aug. 31 and Sept. 21. Band members will also participate in a fruit sale and cookie dough sale this year. In addition, ECMS will be selling school gear to raise money for the program.

Anyone interested in either donating money or old instruments can contact the ECHS and ask for Principal Dennis Fuqua.

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