Someone looking from outside the band community would presume the buzzing of voices, the scurrying of students as they find their marching spots, the commands shouted by the drum major, and the director instructions coming from the loud speaker to be utter chaos. Only those of us who have been there countless times appreciate the precision of such a noisy team effort as we await with confidence the perfect order that follows the “chaos” of pre-rehearsal preparation.
One evening very early in the school year just such a pre-rehearsal had taken place and the first half of the rehearsal that followed had progressed with excellence. With a sense of pride, woodwind and brass players neatly arranged their cherished instruments in tidy, straight lines along the sidelines so they could enjoy a much-needed water break to refresh themselves from the lingering summer heat.
Everything seemed to be going smoothly as the youngsters enjoyed their brief rest when an ominous “crunch” emanated from behind the water truck. The band manager in his eagerness to refill the large water jugs with ice water for his hot and thirsty musicians had hopped into his pickup and backed over every single woodwind instrument, thirty in total, that, unbeknownst to him, had been lined up neatly in a perfectly straight line behind his truck.
We can only imagine his shock and panic upon realizing what had happened. In a matter of seconds, thousands of dollars’ worth of personally owned and school owned instruments were crushed or damaged beyond repair. To make matters worse, this school was not in a wealthy community and these instruments had come at great cost to the school and the families of these budding musicians. The band was instantly crippled without a woodwind section and the youngsters who had lost their instruments were devastated.
Fortunately, the story doesn’t end there. KHS America (owners of Jupiter instruments and Mapex and Majestic Percussion), whose headquarters were located only 1.5 hours away, heard about the accident and came to the rescue. KHS made a surprise visit to the band’s next rehearsal with students, directors, principals and parents all in attendance. The crowd was able to witness most generous donation of new instruments to these students and the school band program. Due to this kind and magnanimous gift from KHS America, these students completed a brilliant and successful marching season, a complete school year of growth and development as musicians, and experienced by way of example a character lesson in kindness to last a lifetime.
This story brings to mind the vital role of each member of the music family…young, eager and talented youngsters, an attentive and supportive instrument manufacturer, band and orchestra directors, private teachers, UIL judges, fine arts administrators, sacrificial parents, the list is lengthy, perhaps endless. This coordinated effort affirms what we music educators and those of us in the music industry already know to be true and worthy of our life’s work; that is, bringing together talented and disciplined people who together give graciously, often sacrificially, to produce life-changing music…together.
KHS America is a family of brands that includes Jupiter, Mapex, and Majestic. KHS America supports band directors is many ways, and becoming a business partner of BandDirectorsTalkShop.com is just one of them. We are grateful for their support! If you want to check out some of their best new products, have a look at MyCase and the Reflections Marimba!
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