Board of Education approves purchase of new musical instruments

The De Soto USD 232 Board of Education approved a $384,877.16 bid from Meyer Music for the purchase of 237 new musical instruments for use throughout the district at its regular meeting on Monday evening.

The need for new instruments in the district was brought before the board at the May 9 meeting. De Soto High School band instructor Daniel Freeman and Mill Valley High School band instructor Debra Steiner described to the board the aging condition of the district's instruments and the lack of enough instruments for each member of their respective bands.

"This purchase isn't meant to replace instruments, although the average age of an instrument in our district is 22 years-old, it's meant to ensure that each kid will have his or her own instrument to play," Steiner said.

District numbers show that band participation at the high school level has increase 157 percent in the past 10 years, yet only 16 new instruments were purchased in the same time period. Money for the purchase will come from the district's Capital Outlay fund for improvements to the district.

The approved big from Meyer Music includes warranties for all the purchased instruments and the use of an educational specialist to provide professional advice to the district's musical staff. The new instruments are expected to arrive in time for both high schools' band camps in July.

"I'm happy to approve this purchase because we've neglected the bands for years in this district," said board member Randy Johnson at the May meeting. "We all go and enjoy the football games and other athletic events but those wouldn't be the same without the band and it's time we help them."

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