Mission to Rebuild Union Beach Memorial School Band Accomplished!
Thank you Patch.com for publicizing my campaign to equip the Union Beach Memorial School Band with donated instruments after theirs were destroyed in hurricane Sandy.
The music teacher tells me the band now has all the instruments they need, including some that we thought would be hard to find, like the baritone horn and the bass clarinet. As a follow up, I want to share with you what has transpired.
After posting the need on Facebook, Patch.com, and helpful publicity from local newspapers I experienced an enormous response. For weeks I handled and managed some 200 emails and too many phone calls to count, from people throughout New Jersey and from several other states... as far away as the West Coast. People wanted to donate instruments and money to the school music department.
Many of the calls and emails were from people who attended Memorial School as children and wanted to help. There were calls and emails from school band directors in NJ and other states wanting to donate their excess instruments. And professional musicians answered the call to donate instruments along with parents of now-grown kids who left their instruments behind when they moved out.
The entire town of Glen Ridge, NJ was fundraising for the Memorial School band after the high school band parents began a drive; a school in Oregon was holding three fundraisers for us, and wanted to send letters from their students to ours. (I say us and ours, because I came to feel so personally connected to this project!) A symphony orchestra in Iowa…one of three orchestras contacted me wanting to help. Then there was the call from the Rutgers U, music fraternity wanting to donate the proceeds of its Annual Snow Ball. These are just a few of the calls from organizations and communities wanting to hold fundraisers for us.
Tama, a drum manufacturer, sent new drums and stands; and a music publishing company will send boxes of band arrangements, level-appropriate, to help restore the lost music library. Just a few days ago, I received a call from a man in Middletown who was planning a January birthday party for his wife, and in lieu of presents, would ask guests to write a check to Memorial School Music Dept. He said there would be a significant donation.
People called me ready to send contributions from $500 to $1,500.
I am amazed at the broad response to my call for help to put playable instruments into hands of the Memorial School Band. Thank you for helping me get the word out. A concert is being planned for March. I hope that all donors will be invited.
Many thanks…and wishing you a Merry Christmas!