WALTERS, Okla. (TNN) - Walters band students will now have better opportunities to progress with their music, thanks to instrument donations by people from across the state.
When the new Walters band director, Lori Shidell, accepted the position a few weeks ago, she learned that two to three students were having to share instruments. So, while introducing herself at the Walters band parent meeting, she made a request.
“I said, ‘put it out there on your page that we’re looking for instruments for our kiddos, that we want them to be successful,'” said Shidell.
Soon after, people started to respond.
“It took off like wildfire," said Shidell. "I mean, like, within three days I had people contacting me, ‘hey, I have a clarinet. Can you use a clarinet?’ Absolutely! I mean, it was really just kind of overwhelming.”
So far, 10 instruments, as well as monetary donations, have been given to the Walters band, which students say will give them better opportunities to progress.
“It makes me happy because you can watch people just grow," said Joshua Cannon, Walters High School junior and Walters Band Council president. "Some people have all this potential and talent to just bloom, but they don’t have the instrument to bring home to practice, and so you just, you’ll watch watch people just grow exponentially in their talent.”
Shidell said for years, Walters middle and high school students have been sharing instruments, because there were not enough for everyone.
“They were sharing mouth pieces," said Shidell. "They did try and sanitize as best they could, but that’s just not cool. It’s gross.”
Shidell said they are still in need of trombones, low brass, cornets, and bell kits. The donations they have already received are helping Shidell achieve her goal: an instrument for every band member.
“I’m thrilled," said Shidell. "Great kids. I’m ready to get started.”
If you would like to help the Walters band, you can contact Walters Public Schools and they will make arrangements to accept your donations.