Hailey Miller left Monday evening from De Soto High School with a trumpet and a dream.
The Starside Elementary School fifth-grader had just acquired the trumpet from Meyer's Music, which brought cartloads of instruments to the high school's commons area for Mize and Starside elementary
"She's been reminding me every day, "Monday's the day we have to go get the instrument," the Starside fifth-grader's mother Amy Miller-Wheat said.
Hailey chose the trumpet during an introduction to band instruments last week.
"I just liked it when I played it, because it sounded good," she said.
Her mother said she dropped away from band in the sixth grade and there hasn't been a musical tradition in the family.
"She'll be the first," Miller-Wheat said.
Fifth-grade band instructor Russell Harvey said it was his job to mold the excitement of Hailey and the other fifth-graders into the skills needed to be future middle school and high school band members.
"The next step is we're going to get the horns out this week and learn to make the first simple sounds," he said. "My job is to try and get a good start, trying to get through those difficult first sounds to get them ready for a lifetime of making music."
For nearly all the fifth-graders, it will be a day of introduction.
"A few have had a couple of lessons and a few have played the piano, but this will be the first lesson for almost all of them," Harvey said.
As he watched the youngsters walk out with their newly acquired instruments, De Soto High School band instructor Justin Love said about half of the students would stick with it, remaining in band through middle school and high school.
"The high school will be big enough by the time they get there for 180 or 200 kids in band," he said.
Angie Freeman, like many of the other parents in the commons, knew the night's excitement might not last and was thankful for the chance to lease the instruments. The mother of twins, Devon and Kendall, she had twice the reason to appreciate the opportunity to get her sons' trumpets through leases.
"I hope they stay with it," she said. "I hope they enjoy music and get a lot out of it."
She played the clarinet in high school and her husband played the saxophone, Freeman said.
"He was hoping one would be a saxophone player, but they both chose the trumpet," she said.