Area Students Benefit from Large Donation to Orchestra Programs
March 13, 2010
Pictured with staff from Meyer Music, Overland Park, are some proud recipients of donations to the orchestra program in the Olathe School District:
(l. to r.) Back row: Sophie Rojas, Meyer Music; Martha Gabel, Fine Arts Coordinator, Olathe School District; Vikran Lakhanpal, Michael Meador, Richard Griggs, Randy Detrick, Olathe; and Mike Meyer, Manager, Meyer Music. Front row: Allie Fiscus and Hanna Gabel, Olathe students.
Meyer Music, of Blue Springs, Kansas City North, and Overland Park, Kansas, has recently contributed over $26,000 in orchestra products to area school districts. These stringed instruments, along with various auxiliary equipment needed for use, care, and maintenance of orchestra instruments, were designated for use by students that might not be able to afford their purchase. In this very difficult economic time for families and schools, these products will help offset the cuts made in school budgets for the care and upkeep of the instruments. Since all of the Meyer Music family members believe strongly in the value of music education, the decision to help young musicians in need was an easy one to make.
Districts receiving recent contributions for their orchestra programs include Missouri schools in Blue Springs, Hickman Mills, Lee’s Summit, Liberty, North Kansas City, and Park Hill. Kansas school districts include Blue Valley, Gardner-Edgerton, Lawrence, Olathe, and Shawnee Mission. Our Lady of Guadalupe School Mariachi Program was also a recipient of donated orchestra instruments.
According to Mike Meyer, Manager of the Overland Park Meyer Music, “We take great joy in being able to help our local school music programs. Many are under intense pressure, and any help that we can give, in order to keep the instruments playing properly, is a big deal to them. We are so happy that more students will be able to continue playing, as well as have broken instruments repaired.”
Debbie Wasko, middle school Orchestra Director in Blue Springs, commented, “I have a student that had no case for his violin and could not afford to buy one, so he carried his instrument to school in a sack; he was thrilled to accept a case from Meyer Music!” According to Paul Morales, Orchestra Director at Pleasant Lea Middle School in Lee’s Summit, “the donations sent by Meyer Music provided equipment for some of our students who could not otherwise afford some items necessary to fully participate in our program.”
Cathy Solsberg, Hickman Mills School District, wrote “the donation from Meyer Music allowed me to provide shoulder rests for all my eighth students who didn’t have one or had lost or outgrown their present one. The orchestra director from Ruskin High School is taking the remaining ones for some of his students who play the larger-sized violas. I was able to put carrying straps on all of my middle school cello cases to make them easier to transport like a backpack. I have also replaced a number of chinrests on some of our school-owned instruments and am sending most of the remaining ones, along with the tailpieces, to the other secondary schools to do the same.”
Pat Setser, Music Coordinator for the North Kansas City School District, exclaimed “it was like Christmas for our strings teachers! They just swarmed over the boxes of donated equipment – it was amazing! They received, for their students’ use, chin rests, shoulder rests, and tailpieces. Beginners tend to lose these items and end up with nothing to use, so these especially were a huge help. This was a wildly generous offer from Meyer Music and one that our district really appreciates and has utilized. We would never have been able to afford them otherwise.”
Students in the Olathe School District also benefitted; Martha Gabel, Fine Arts Coordinator, said “we are very grateful to Meyer Music for their generous donation of instrument cases, strings, shoulder rests, and a variety of other instrument supplies. We have been able to pass on these items directly to students who might not have been able to purchase them. During this time of budget reductions, these have been a welcome addition and have certainly helped us to keep our stringed instruments in better playing condition and in our students’ hands where they belong.”
Another Kansas Orchestra Director, Cheryl Lundberg, commented, “the Gardner Edgerton orchestra program is very thankful that Meyer Music has donated various instrument accessories and parts for use by the directors. These items will be invaluable in helping students to continue to excel in music education.”
Susan Scheibler, Blue Valley School District’s Coordinating Teacher for Performing Arts, also spoke about the company’s donations: “Meyer Music is always more than willing to help out their community with donations of music products or services. They recently donated a supply of stringed instrument accessories to our district. In our current economic situation, there are items that are needed but cannot be totally funded through the school district. Our teachers were then able to use the donated items in their classrooms without asking the students to pick up the cost. I am also aware that Meyer Music provides a KMEA tee shirt for all metro area students that play with their selected school ensemble at the Kansas Music Educators Conference in Wichita.”
Ms. Scheibler goes on to say that “Meyer Music not only provides donations for local music education programs but also was willing to help out a central Kansas school when the need arose. Mike Meyer was the first and only local music merchant who responded when I was working on a charitable donation to Chapman High School for replacement instruments after the tornado. I was looking for a company to donate their repair services for any used instruments we had received as donations to Chapman. Not only did Meyer Music offer to repair the instruments, but they also donated a significant amount of gently used and refurbished instruments. Mike even took an entire work day to deliver the instruments in person to the very thankful Chapman High School students and teachers!”
For additional information about orchestra program contributions, please contact Tom Meyer, Blue Springs Meyer Music, at 816-309-1219; Mike Meyer, Overland Park Meyer Music, at 913-491-6636; or Mitzi Meyer Phelan, Kansas City North Meyer Music, at 816-746-0500. Contact can also be made via the web site at www.meyermusic.com.