By Starrla Cray
DELANO, MN Is there an old clarinet or trumpet in your closet that hasn’t been played in eons?
Now might be the time to dust off that instrument and put it to good use.
Starting Wednesday, Feb. 1, the Delano Music Boosters will be accepting new and used instruments as part of an instrument donation program.
“We’ll take anything; a bassoon, drums, whatever,” music boosters member Shawn Petersen said, adding that the donation is tax deductible.
The instruments will be available for students at Delano Public Schools who may not have the resources to rent or purchase their own.
“A few years ago, I had an idea to do this as a way to get instruments into the hands of kids,” Petersen said.
Now, with the help of the music boosters and the community, that idea is taking shape.
Anyone who has an unused instrument may drop it off during the Delano High School band concert Monday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m.
Donations will also be accepted at the Delano High School office on an ongoing basis.
“I’m excited,” Petersen said. “This is something I’ve always wanted to do.”
Students and volunteers will test the condition of each instrument, and repairs will be made to those that need it. Reeds and other missing parts may be paid for through music booster funds.
“Our goal is to promote music,” Petersen said. “We’re going to be there any way we can.”
Each May, fourth- and fifth-graders in Delano have an opportunity to learn about band participation. This year, Petersen plans to have the refurbished instruments available for students to try.
“Whether they’re interested in music, or it’s just something to do to keep them from hanging out in the wrong places, we want to have instruments for them,” Petersen said.
According to Petersen, it will also be good to have extra instruments on hand, in case a student’s own instrument is out of order for awhile.
“That way, the music can keep going,” he said, adding that music participation has multiple benefits.
“Tons of studies have shown that students in band and choir have higher math scores, and have higher academics overall,” he said. “It’s to get people thinking outside the box.”
To learn more about the instrument donation program in Delano, contact Petersen at email@example.com or (612) 483-4886. High school band director Jason Koets can also provide information, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (763) 972-6200, ext. 3061.
Petersen also encourages people to “like” the Delano Music Boosters on Facebook.