Donations Enable Instrument Repairs

PHS band students played an impromptu concert Saturday during a fund-raiser bake sale held outside Payson’s Safeway store.

PHS band students played an impromptu concert Saturday during a fund-raiser bake sale held outside Payson’s Safeway store. Photo by Michele Nelson. |

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This past weekend, parents and students joined forces to run a band bake sale outside of Safeway that netted $2,300.

Just in time to help with emergency repairs to the band drum line.

“The drum heads have all broken — one of them is even keeping its own time flapping in the wind. To repair them will be $2,000, though,” said Sergio Beraun, the high school band director before the bake sale.

Despite the district owning many of the instruments, they are never repaired, say band students.

The school only covers the salary of the band director. There is no money offered to help with transportation, instrument replacement and repair, uniforms, music costs, and charts for the field work the band does during halftime shows and competitions.

No one thought the bake sale would net as much as it did. Organizers originally estimated they would bring in $1,500 and most thought that was reaching.

Yet, the public responded to the enthusiasm of the students who spent hours asking every customer who came in or left Safeway if they would consider a donation to help the band program — organizers had no prices on the cupcakes, fruit breads and cookies — even gluten-free treats. Everything was by donation.

An APS repairman stopped by late on Saturday afternoon to scoop up five pumpkin cookies for dessert and said he had helped another band in Holbrook that morning that also held a bake sale.

“Glad to help — band gives spirit to the school,” he said.

Numerous people said ‘no’ going into the store, but came out and dropped their change in the jar, telling the students, “You were so nice to me, and I just had to help.”

Victoria Van Camp, a drummer and drum major in training, made up a cute song based on the popular pop song, “Call Me Maybe.”

“Hey, I just met you,

And this is crazy —

But please donate to us,

‘Cause we broke our drum-heads.”

Numerous people dropped $5 in the donation jar with a smile on their face just because she sang.

As an added bonus, the students played an impromptu concert from noon until 1 p.m. on Saturday to wrap up their normal five-hour weekend practice.

It takes commitment to be in the band. Over the marching band season, the students will put in almost 900 hours of practice and performance hours, yet at any one hour of the bake sale, at least 10 students helped out.

Many Safeway shoppers simply gave to help the cause — or because seeing the band kids reminded them of their band days.

And it’s quite the cause — the five tournaments the band participates in will cost $4,300 to cover entrance fees, bus transportation and trailer rental to get the percussion to the performance.

Just to get the band onto the field, the music, additional coaching, equipment, repairs and uniform costs come to $9,490.

The Payson High School marching band will compete against Phoenix schools that not only have a band director, but percussion, brass and woodwind coaches.

In spite of the lack of resources, the Payson band has won numerous “excellent” and “superior rankings” from judges.

In addition to individual fund-raising activities, the band also accepts Credit for Kids donations and is selling T-shirts to raise money to cover all of the costs of this marching season.

For more information, send an email to Sergio.beraun@pusd.com or call the district office at (928) 474-2070.

Estimated hours students devote to band during marching season

Night practice (2-3) 10 hours/week

Classroom hours 5 hours/week

Band camps (2) 40 hours/week

Half-time shows (5) 25 hours total

Tournaments (5) 50 hours total

Practice outside of class Unlimited

Total 845+ hours

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