OKMS music program gets grant for new instruments
Walk down the halls at Orchard Knob Middle School, and you'll hear the musical tunes coming from Ms. Holts band classroom.
The program is relatively new and has grown in popularity, but not every student has an instrument to play, and the ones that do, might not have one that works.
Their instruments might sound off-key, but their hearts are right on the note.
“Sometimes the keys are broken and some of the sounds don't clearly come out,” 7th-grader Briauna Cutler said.
Taped up instruments and missing parts are a few of the obstacles facing the OKMS band.
Annece Holts is in her first year as Band Director and has been determined to change the program.
"I realized we had about 80 students in band, and we only had about 12 working instruments,” Holts said.
Limited instruments and even fewer that actually worked.
"A lot of them had holes in them, like holes in instruments, or they were missing parts or wrong parts with the instruments,” she added.
Holts took it upon herself to ask other schools for old instruments and applied for grants to ensure her students didn't get overlooked.
“This school hadn't had a grant in a while, and the instruments were in such bad shape," Paul Macaluso, CEO, The Krystal Company, said.
The company awarded Orchard Knob's band program $3,000. It’s money to allow the school to make repairs, buy new equipment and add new instruments.
"Our employees work in, their children go to schools here, some of our employees have been to some of the schools we offered grants,” he said.
Since 2016, The Krystal Foundation has awarded about $80,000 in school grants and about $10,000 to Chattanooga area schools. It’s money students that will allow students like Briauna to continue their passion in the performing arts.
"I was shocked and then happy at the same time, I was like oh my gosh!" she said.
Students in the band program have a one-hour class every day. No fee is charged and any student can join.