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Looking for a few good trumpets, flutes

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By Meaghan Downs

C’mon, I know you have them.
They’re hiding in attics or basements, maybe slowly developing mildew and rusting away under a layer of dust from lack of use or neglect.
Or maybe you just don’t have time for them anymore.   
I’m talking about your clarinets and flutes, your drum set and your high school-era trumpets: instruments that if you’re not using currently that could be put to better use for budding musicians at the middle school.  
You’ve seen the marching band mentioned here in this column before, but I’m not talking about the Marching Bearcats this week.
If you don’t care about music or band or middle school education at all, then feel free move on to another wonderful page of our newspaper. Nothing’s keeping you reading the following sentences except your own free will and a set of working eyeballs.
But for those of you who have miscellaneous musical instruments still kicking around and aren’t hanging on to them for your children or grandchildren, stay tuned.
We’re talking about the middle school band, and an open call for instruments.
The need for instruments isn’t dire, band director Patrick Brady told me last week, but he’s looking to the future and he sees more kids signing up for band than the school has instruments.
The middle school band program isn’t going to shut down or be cancelled in any way because of a lack of woodwinds and mallets for student use, so this isn’t a mad dash scramble to find trumpets or saxophones.
But the money Brady receives for the middle band budget doesn’t always cover what’s needed to purchase all the instruments for band.  
Of course, students can still rent their instruments through a vendor if they wish, Brady said, which also provides a repair service. Most students rent instruments, and that option will always be available, he said, but there are some students that have a need for a school-owned instrument.
“As the bands have grown in size, the need for school-owned instruments has risen as a result,” Brady said. “(I’m) looking for people to donate so I can have more options for people if something breaks and needs a loaner ‘til they get theirs fixed or if they can’t afford a horn in general.”
But the band director said he could always use parts to repair an instrument for a kid, which he usually able to do for free, especially if it is a school-owned instrument.
Any donated instrument would go directly to the band program and to kids who might need them, Brady said.
Instruments can be in working or non-working order, Brady said, because he can always use parts from an older model to repair another instrument for a student.
Brady said he’s in need of flutes, clarinets, saxophones of any kinds, trumpets, cornets, French horns, trombones, baritones, tubas, snare drums, snare stands, drum sets or drum set parts and cymbals. Mouthpieces of any kind would also be appreciated.
“Anything that can save me a dollar where I can put it towards something else,” Brady said.
Any donated instruments would be generally used for middle school classes, and would specifically be for beginner musicians, Brady said, although some high schoolers’ horns may break and find themselves in need to borrow a portion of the middle school’s inventory until repairs are finished.
Contact Brady through email at patrick.brady@anderson.kyschools.us or call the Anderson County High School band room at 502-839-5588 or the high school at 502-839-5118 if you have an instrument that needs a new home, or a new owner.
I can’t promise that Brady will dedicate any concert performances or marching band shows to those who donate (because last time I checked, I’m unfortunately unable to read people’s minds), but I’m sure he’d be appreciative.

Meaghan Downs is the news editor at The Anderson News. She can be reached via email at mdowns@theandersonnews.com.