The Crookston School District is seeking instrument donations to be able to provide affordable instruments to students in the district who want to be a part of the music program.  Crookston Band Director Matthew Torgerson said that music numbers are growing, and so are the number of students who can’t afford to purchase an instrument. “Our biggest issue right now is our music numbers are increasing, but the socio-economic status of Crookston is changing a little bit,” said Torgerson.  “And so, we have a lot of want, especially from some of our younger grades that want to join band or orchestra but can’t afford the instruments themselves. We’re honestly running out of school instruments, so we’re reaching out to anybody and everybody looking for some donations of all shapes and sizes.  Even if you don’t think it works or parts are missing, we’ll take what we can get because that’s where we’re at.  We’re out of a lot of different instruments.  We’re out of flutes, clarinets, saxophones. We’re just in need.”

Donated instruments are rented out for a small maintenance fee to students and then passed on to the next student once a student graduates or moves on from that instrument said, Torgerson. “We inventory it as a donation into the Crookston School District, and with that, it becomes the property of the school district,” said Torgerson.  “As students join band, quit band, graduate we pass it on to a younger person or someone else who is interested.  It always stays with the school district, and the students who are using a school instrument do pay a small rental fee to the district for upkeep to do minor repairs as needed.  But even for the students who maybe can’t afford that either, we do scholarships with that.  If we have families that are interested and want to be involved in music, we want to make sure they are involved in music.  So, between the school district and PFAB (Pirates Fine Arts Boosters), we find a way to make sure that everyone who wants to can be a part of the music ensembles here in Crookston.”

The Pirates Fine Arts Boosters will provide tax receipts for donations, and Torgerson said they would even accept what some might call “junk” instruments that can be scraped for parts to keep the other instruments in good shape. “Right now, our focus is trying to reach as many students as we can with our limited amount of resources, and in this case, it’s our limited amount of instruments,” said Torgerson.  “We can do tax receipts, anything like that through PFAB.  PFAB has already approved taking donations themselves and re-donating to the school to help with some of the paperwork issues.  We’re just looking to help students.  Even if you think you have a piece of junk in the closest will take because we can always scrap it for parts to fix up other things.”