School District 200 collecting instruments
In conjunction with Music in Our Schools month, the Woodstock School District 200 Music Boosters are once again holding a used instrument drive.
Last year, in its inaugural drive, the boosters collected about a dozen instruments. The majority of the instruments were used to help get the fifth grade orchestra program off the ground, while others were donated to children who might otherwise have been unable to participate in the band programs.
Cathy DeMartinis, president of the boosters, said instruments of all types and conditions are accepted, with the exception of organs and pianos. Any used instrument that is broken and cannot be reasonably repaired may be recycled into a work of art, she said.
Last year, a wide variety of instruments were donated, DeMartinis said. She added that the people who donated instruments last year were as varied as the instruments themselves.
“We had one 70-year-old guy who gave us his dad’s saxophone,” DeMartinis said. The man had played semiprofessionally, and while the sax was an important piece to the family, they knew donating it to the school would make better use of it.
DeMartinis said many of the donations result from brief attempts at learning an instrument or a past hobby that has gone by the wayside. She said she hopes many who are holding on to used instruments because of the potential value see the donation as going to a good cause.
“They can take a tax deduction and help out these kids,” DeMartinis said. “A lot of times they get more [from the tax deduction] than they would selling it.”
The boosters give donors blank donation forms. It is up to them to determine the value of the instrument.
Donors can drop off instruments at any D-200 school or can schedule a pickup by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling DeMartinis at 815-334-0609. While the promotion for the drive is taking place during March, people can donate at any time.
DeMartinis said the boosters raise money for programs “above and beyond what the district can provide.” Some of these include scholarship funds and music camps, she said. Donations to the music boosters can be forwarded to the district’s main office at 200 E. Judd St.
DeMartinis encouraged the Woodstock public to attend upcoming band and choral events in the district. She said two particular events are coming up that give an overall sampling of the band and choral programs across all grade levels.
A D-200 band festival will take place at 7 p.m. Monday, April 30, at Woodstock North High School. A D-200 choral festival will take place at 7 p.m. Monday, May 7, at Woodstock High School.