A fundraiser is underway from the Poland Band Boosters in an attempt to cover the costs of some badly needed upgrades for the concert and jazz bands in Poland schools.
"Our goal is make a profit of approximately $4,000 to $5,000," said Terri Windsor, raffle chair for the Poland Band Parents organization.
Windsor said the band is in need of updated equipment as well as a sound recording system that can enable students to practice at home via a computer link.
"We have instruments over 30 years old, and there currently is no recording equipment in the band room," said Nick Olesko, PSHS band director. "With the funds from the raffle, we would like to purchase recording equipment for the band room in order to be able to make recordings during rehearsals and make them available online in order to help the students practice at home.
As for the present band instruments, Olesko said the older pieces still function, but newer instruments would give the students an enhanced experience. He said the instruments that are in dire need of replacement include sousaphones (marching tubas), as well as oboes, baritones, bass clarinets, tenor saxophones, baritone saxophones, French horns, and percussion. All totaled, the replacement comes with an expensive price tag.
"Replacing these instruments with the quality the students should have access to would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars," Olesko said. "Instead, we just chip away year by year, trying to address the most pressing needs first."
To help with the replacement and purchase of a sound system, the Poland Band Parents have put together a raffle and asked each band member to sell five tickets. The raffle started at the winter band concert on March 7 and will continue until mid-May.
Presently, there are 180 students in the marching band and another 25 in the jazz band. The band just performed at the BCS National Championship game in January, received numerous Superior ratings at Solo and Ensemble Adjudicated Event at South Range High School in February. The band will competed at the OMEA District V Large Group Adjudicated Event at Boardman High School this Friday and Saturday.
Anyone interested in purchasing a raffle ticket to help support Poland Bands can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Olesko, or a band member from the seventh through 12th grades.