The Central High School Band was formed in 1927 and is one of the oldest bands in Tennessee. Our band is a source of pride for the Fountain City Community. Our band supports the community at ball games, and through participation in local community events.
Our band relies on grants, hand-me-down instruments and donations from the public to exist. Community support is vital to our existence. Our Booster organization works tirelessly every year holding fundraisers to meet basic program needs. These needs include, but are not limited to: show props, bus transportation to away games & competitions, instrument repairs, summer camp instructor fees, and competition fees. Each year our efforts help us to keep a band on the field and to sustain our program but we are not able to purchase much needed items to help grow our program and provide our students with the best experience possible. We operate on a shoestring budget and would love to have the tools to enable us to compete on a more even playing field.
A quarter of our school’s students are economically disadvantaged. Many of our band students simply cannot afford band fees and their parents are unable to support the booster organization. This in turn, along with the low level of funding provided by the school district, presents financial difficulties for our band program. However, no child is ever turned away as we believe band should be available to all who desire to participate.
Our band has several important needs as this time as outlined below:
1. New instrumentation. Instruments are the main technology in a band and just as it is with any technology, instrument upgrades and replacements are needed for a band to thrive and grow. We do not receive funding from the district to purchase and replace instruments. Many of our instruments are older than the students and their parents, are in very poor condition and are very difficult to play. Co-Director Krista Kearney states “When students play on a low quality or damaged instrument, they can become frustrated and quit. I have played some of our brass instruments myself and become very frustrated at the limitations it puts on my performance. In addition, many students cannot afford to own their own instrument and we want to be an equal opportunity band.” Our band has an immediate need for the following instruments:
3 Concert Baritone/Euphoniums - $27,000
1 Trumpet – $2,000
1 Bass Trombone - $3,000
2 Trigger Trombones - $6,000
2 French Horns - $10,000
2. Secure Instrument Lockers & New Sound Panels. It is our desire to purchase and install secure instrument lockers for instrument safety, security & organization. Purchasing these lockers would allow us to provide each student with their own locker to lock their expensive instrument inside. In addition, these lockers will look neat and professional in our band room and will eliminate problems with broken, borrowed or misplaced items. The approximate cost for this project is $22,000. In addition, our room could use new sound panels. The approximate cost for new sound panels is $48,000.
3. Ponchos. We had hoped to try to purchase proper ponchos for our band to use when it rains during games. It would cost approximately $5,000 to outfit the band with ponchos. We were unable to attempt this endeavor this year as we had to purchase special PPE for our students and instruments in order to participate in band this year. This expense set us back $2,000 and was not a budgeted expense but had to be done in order to have a program.
4. ATV 4-Wheeler. An ATV will help us transport equipment on and off the field at home games and competitions. The approximate cost for an ATV is $5,000.
Research has proven that music education is a worthwhile experience for young people and countless young people have reaped the benefits of music education in Central’s band. Just listen to what a few of past students had to say about their experience in our band program:
· Haley G., said, “High school wouldn’t have been high school without it.”
· Spencer S., added “Band has been an amazing experience! We’re all a huge family.”
· Justin M., stated, “Band changes your life!”
· Rebecca O. said “Band taught me a lot of life lessons and what I need to do to prepare for things in life.”
Band is not inexpensive; however, it is an endeavor worth supporting. The U.S. Department of Education lists the arts as subjects college-bound middle and junior high school students should take, stating “Many colleges view participation in the arts and music as a valuable experience that broadens students’ understanding and appreciation of the world around them. It is also well known and widely recognized that the arts contribute significantly to children’s intellectual development.” According to reports by the College Entrance Exam Board “Students of the arts outperform their non-arts peers on the SAT.” A recent report from the College Board found that students in music performance groups scored 57 points higher on the critical reading, 43 points higher on the math and 58 points higher on writing than students with no arts participation,” – The College Board, Profile of College-Bound Seniors National Report. The arts provide young people with authentic learning experiences that engage their minds, hearts and bodies. Engagement nurtures the development of cognitive, social and personal competencies.
We believe supporting the arts and nurturing our students is a worthwhile cause and we hope you do, too. If so, we hope you’ll consider donating $92 in honor of our 92+ year old band program in order to help us reach our fundraising goal. Thank you for your consideration in supporting the Central High School Band.
Bobcat Band Boosters