After experiencing exponential growth, the Owensboro Public Schools band and orchestra programs are facing the challenge of every student being able to afford their own instrument. So, they are starting a “Leave a Legacy” initiative in hopes that alumni will donate instruments to give any interested student the opportunity to be part of the programs.
Toms Stites, OPS Coordinator of Fine Arts, said the band and orchestra programs have been part of the district for generations. The orchestra program was one of the first in Western Kentucky.
“The growth of our entire arts program begins in our elementary programs with exemplary teachers and continues to grow through the arts sampler across all arts,” Stites said. “Most of our students purchase/rent instruments after the two years of the arts sampler. We also supply the largest and most expensive instruments. However, some households cannot afford the smaller instruments such as violin, viola, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone and even percussion. Our goal is to help these households keep their children involved in these exemplary programs with quality instruments.”
The growth has led to Suzuki strings being in almost every elementary school, a guitar ensemble, Orff instruments, percussion clubs, and the largest beginning strings and beginning bands in OPS history.
The “Leave a Legacy” program will allow former band/orchestra members “to support the next generation of young musicians to continue their musical journey in OPS,” Stites said.
Anyone who played an instrument in middle school, high school, or college who has a “quality” instrument that they are interested in donating can contact Stites at 270-686-1000 x2404 or [email protected]