Chico High Music Boosters holding musical instrument drive

Chico High Music Boosters holding musical instrument drive

CHICO — The newly formed Chico High School Music Boosters are holding a musical instrument drive to benefit music education.

“Our Jan. 8 instrument drive is an opportunity for supporters of music education to pass along instruments they have on hand, just in time for year-end cleaning,” said Sean Maiorano, president of the Boosters. “We plan to make this an annual event.”

Once-beloved or extra musical instruments can find a new purpose as donations to benefit the symphonic, concert and marching bands as well as choir programs at Chico High, according to a press release.

Between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Jan 8, people can drop off instruments to volunteers in the stadium parking lot at Chico High.

The Chico High School band performs Friday, Oct. 22, 2021 at the 2021 Almond Bowl at Pleasant Valley High School in Chico, California. (Tom Angel/Contributed)

The Boosters are looking for any new or used instruments except pianos. “Lots of people might have old instruments in their closets that could be suitable to pass on,” Maiorano said.

The Boosters hope that the drive will be successful.  After the drive, the instruments will be thoroughly cleaned. Students have been wearing masks and cleaning the instruments after use since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“We’re excited to see what the community has and how to support Chico High’s music program. We want kids of all ages to participate in music. It’s enriching, and students that participate in music do academically better in school and it’s a good social experience for them as well,” Maiorano said.

The Music Boosters is similar to sports boosters.

“I think it’s important to support the arts and augment the resources that the school already has,” Maiorano said.

Donors can contact organizers to make special arrangements for instrument pickup or delivery. New as well as “gently used” instruments in need of repair are welcomed. Large instruments such as pianos cannot be accepted at this time due to size and expense, according to a press release.

Chico High teacher Ruben Morales, who leads the band, guitar and piano classes, said the instruments will be loaned to students who cannot afford to buy or rent them.

“We are so grateful to the community for any donations that may come through. There is always the need for quality instruments at all levels of our public school music programs. Any student playing on an instrument that is difficult to use will have a less enjoyable time than a student who is playing on an instrument that works really well and may end up thinking that they are the problem when it is the instrument itself. Every student deserves to have a quality music education, and having a quality instrument is a great way to make sure that happens,” Morales said. “In particular we are always looking for more saxophones and trombones, but all band instruments are welcome. At this point in time we don’t have an orchestra but that might be changing in the near future. All instruments are going to need some repairs, so if you are unable to donate an instrument but still want to help please consider donating to the Chico High Music Boosters.”

Any donations to the boosters go directly toward enriching music education at the school.

Maiorano said the instrument drive is just one way the new nonprofit aims to support Chico High’s choir and instrumental programs. “The Music Boosters are raising money to purchase instruments, music and provide resources that support the growth of the music programs,” he said. “We’re also working on grant-writing as well as supporting teachers in organizing enrichment activities such as field trips, college tours, choir retreats, guest speakers and other events and opportunities.”

The boosters organized a dessert silent auction at the Dec. 8 band concert, and previously partnered with Nothing Bundt Cakes for a fundraiser. Volunteers have also been selling stickers, temporary tattoos and other “music swag” at football games and other school events, according to the press release.

Anyone wishing to support music education at Chico High can also make a direct donation to the Music Boosters fund via the North Valley Community Foundation at  https://www.nvcf.org/funds/Chico-High-Music-Boosters.

“We’ve been so pleased by the response on campus and from the community at large,” Maiorano said. “Access to a quality, enriching music education environment is the boosters’ top priority.”

According to the North Valley Community Fund website, which sponsors the Boosters, the purpose of the fund shall be to raise money to purchase instruments, music, and provide resources that support the growth of the music programs at Chico High School. Monies raised by this fund will be distributed by the foundation on behalf of the fund at the recommendations of the fund advisors. The nonprofit, parent-led Music Boosters organization was formed in fall 2021.

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