Project Sound; Stafford’s 6th grade band needs instruments

Image: The cubbie holes are bare.  — Each day the 6th grade band class convenes, empty cubbie holes serve as a constant reminder that they desperately need instruments. The first question asked by students is, “When are we getting instruments?”

The cubbie holes are bare. — Each day the 6th grade band class convenes, empty cubbie holes serve as a constant reminder that they desperately need instruments. The first question asked by students is, “When are we getting instruments?” (Barry Byers)

The Stafford Elementary Roaring Tigers Band has been established this school year with Italy High School’s Gladiator Regiment Band director Jesus Perez teaching students the fundamentals of music and how to play their instruments.

However, there is one small problem….not enough instruments. With a class of 39 eager musicians, Perez estimates it would take a minimum of 25 more instruments to satisfy the young band’s needs.

Overall, including the 39 members in 6th grade band, there are 33 members in the 7th grade band and 65 members in the Gladiator Regiment Band for a total of 139, making instruments scarce to come by.

“When are we getting our instruments?” I hear that question five or six times a day and I tell he students, “soon,” stated Perez.

To make “soon”, sooner than later, Perez is asking the community for assistance. If anyone has a new or old instrument they would be willing to donate or able to give a financial donation, please contact Jesus Perez by email: jperez@italyisd.org or call Italy High School: (972) 483-7411 ext. 1137.

The band currently makes use of a few available instruments brought over from the high school band hall along with students suppling their own instruments.

Instruments are just the start. Music stands, reeds and more will need to be provided as well.

In the meantime, the 6th grade band has been clapping along with musical beats to learn rhythms using the metronome scale and doing breathing exercises. Band members also complete worksheet assignments and have began to learn how to score music.

Despite the lack of musical instruments, band students are already being tested and matched to the instrument that would best suit them. Perez explained, “It’s a bit like a football draft. Students are selected to either the brass section, the winds section, the percussion section or the rhythm section, often based on their natural abilities.”

Offered for the first time in six years, the goal of the class is to keep the 6th graders near the level of the 7th graders. Hopefully, with the communities help, the question, “When are we getting instruments?,” will soon be replaced with the exclamation, “Yay, we got our instruments!”

Go Tigers!