Denair Schools Seek Donations of Musical Instruments
the Denair Unified School District has a modest music program, but instructor Fred Steiner has ambitious plans to expand it over the next few years and to do so, he is enlisting the help of the community.
It’s hard to make great music with an older clarinet or trumpet than the grandparents of a newbie student, which is why Steiner invites members of the Denair community via a video to donate unwanted instruments to the district that might collect dust in a closet or attic.
âMany of the instruments we have are between 50 and 60 years old. â¦ Many older instruments have simply been used by many, many students for several decades and have reached a point of requiring a lot of regular and expensive maintenance. Hopefully we can receive some useful donations that will be an upgrade to our current inventory, âsaid Steiner, who came to Denair this year after 16 years in the Palos Verdes School District in Southern California.
Already this year, Denair received an unexpected and very generous donation: a 113-year-old Steinway Model O piano. It was donated by Karen and Jeffrey Lewis, residents of Turlock.
Steiner has set his sights much lower this time. He thinks of families whose children may have played an instrument before, but don’t need it now.
âThe two most common things people have in their homes that they are generally happy to part with are drums and electric guitars,â Steiner said. âUsually, we don’t talk about high-end products. “
Steiner’s wishlist includes these instruments:
He will also gladly accept donations of drums, guitar and bass as well as sound equipment such as amplifiers, speakers and microphones.
âI would say our greatest needs right now are wind instruments like the flute, clarinet and saxophone,â Steiner said. “The truth is, we really need a new baritone saxophone and a new tenor saxophone – better yet, two of each – but you just don’t find that a lot of people have that sort of thing that dragged. The second greatest need would be the trombone and the trumpet.
Steiner said that if he got too much of the same instrument, he would gladly try to sell some online to raise money that could be reinvested in the district’s music program.
âSomething people originally paid $ 200 for when it was new can be returned for $ 50 to $ 100 with a little bit of effort and patience,” he said. “Multiply that by five or 10 and you get a pretty useful resource.â¦ I’m pretty adept with Craigslist, Offerup, and the like so I don’t mind doing this part of the process.
The beneficiaries will be students of Denair’s orchestra and music programs. The groups currently include 23 students in middle school, 13 in high school and a group of 30 newbies in fifth grade. Steiner also teaches music to around 300 third, fourth and fifth graders, so there is a great need for improved instruments.
âThe community is very excited to create a strong and active school music program,â Steiner said. “Our vision is to increase the number of students participating to a level that allows us to enrich the lives of all students through the benefits of music and to improve every school community by participating in gatherings, events sports and local events such as the holiday parade. “
Anyone wishing to donate an instrument can email or call Steiner to arrange a high school drop-off time. He can be reached at [email protected], his school phone (209) 632-9911 ext. 4249 or by cell phone (310) 357-4920.