The band and orchestra are raising money through various fundraisers this fall for their spring break trips.
Orchestra director Steven Spangler said the orchestra’s goal is to raise $5,000 for their trip to Nashville, Tennessee.
The orchestra hosted a cookout at the Montrose Elementary polling location on Election Day, Nov. 7, selling hamburgers, hot dogs and chips to voters, he added.
Junior and orchestra board secretary Nandni Patel said merchandise such as T-shirts and crewnecks are being sold to everyone in the program, from fourth to 12th-grade students, to raise money for the trip. This provides the younger orchestra members the chance to get involved in the fundraising process, she said.
The orchestra also gets financial support from Bexley Boosters, Bexley Music Parents and district members, Spangler added.
“We are very fortunate for Bexley Music Parents and for the funding that we do get from the district because in other places, [that money] would be going to just buying sheet music in some schools,” he said.
Band director Andy Johnson said the band is going to Honolulu, Hawaii, and they need to raise $27,000. He said their primary means of fundraising includes parades, street concerts and occasional private events.
During football games, the band sells donuts and Dippin’ Dots to raise funds, Johnson said. He added the band has been saving money over the past two years for their trip next spring break.
“I know if I have a trip coming up the following year, I will stockpile money from the previous year,” Johnson added.
Senior band president Zeke Sears-Giardina explained the band was able to collect a lot of money last year by playing music in trailers and riding around Bexley before school started.
Johnson added the music programs also get financial support from Bexley Education Foundation grants.
In the past, the music programs have each tried to do individual sales, Sears-Giardina said. They have sold mattresses, coffee and cookie dough, but these have not been as successful for raising money, he explained.
In most cases, students’ parents were the ones buying those items, Johnson said, so not much additional money was being raised.
“It ends up being roughly 10% of the people doing 90% of the work,” he said. “We get out of those sales if it’s possible.”
He said the past administration had been supportive of fundraising for various music expenses and the new administration isn’t any different.
Both music programs are raising money for scholarships to support students who cannot afford to go on the trip, Johnson said. These scholarships either cover parts or the entire cost for a student, he explained.
Spangler said there are many students who simply cannot afford to go on trips, but he wants to ensure that they have the opportunity.
“I’m a very adamant supporter of the idea that it doesn’t matter what you have, you’re not going to be excluded from anything,” he said.
Lowering the price for other students allows the music programs to travel with ease and less stress, he added.
Sears-Giardina is eager to help members who cannot afford to go on these types of trips and has seen people be excluded due to financial reasons firsthand.
“My brother wasn’t able to go on his Hawaii trip a couple of years ago because he couldn’t afford it,” he explained. “I don’t want someone to be put in a situation where it can’t be paid for.”
Band members do not think of fundraising ideas themselves but are happy to help execute, he added.
Spangler said he receives help generating fundraising ideas from the student-run orchestra board.
Orchestra junior representative Daniel Xue said he helps brainstorm ideas to help raise money for the orchestra program during board meetings. Assisting families with difficult financial situations is important to make everyone feel included, he explained.
“I feel like there should be something that as a group we can do to help those individuals,” Xue said. “It would be great to see everyone go on a trip and experience something fun together.”
Patel is excited when people are involved in the brainstorming. She believes fundraising for these trips would not be possible without support from students and staff.
“Coming up with fundraising ideas is always a fun time knowing that from the first draft to the roll out of ideas, we’re helping our program,” she said.