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Students host instrument drive over shortage at Colonial Heights Middle

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COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. -- Next year Colonial Heights Middle School will have a good problem, but a problem nonetheless.

"Typically we have about 50 to 60 students in the 6th-grade band and next year we have 110," says Michelle Wilkins, Band Director at the school.

High enrollment may be the kind of problem other band directors would like to have, but there really is a big concern.

"We are very excited but now it poses some logistical issues," said Wilkins.

The problem is two-fold; there are more new students and more current band members returning next fall in the 7th and 8th grade.

That means there will be a shortage of brass and woodwind instruments.

"For what ever reason this year, there's a big push for it," says William Hortz, school principal.

So a simple idea began to crescendo.

Band members thought an instrument drive might get the public to dust off their old horns and woodwinds locked away in an attic or basement and donate them to the school.

"Having a used instrument would be something special because you know someone had already had an attachment with it, a musical connection," said band members Krystal Rubio.

Phillip Dickey has been playing for two years and took the matter to heart.

"We're doing an instrument drive and I decided Facebook.  Everybody uses it, there's a page for it, just for Colonial Heights, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity and I posted on there," said Dickey.

The band knows more members means a bigger band so they're hoping former band members step up to the music stand.

"I would love for it to be successful, cause then every kid would get an instrument and if every kid gets an instrument, then we can have a successful band," said 7th grader William Mehfoud.

Principal Hortz believes music and the band remain important in young students lives.

"Every kid wants to find success in school, some of those kids find great success when they are in the band and they find the niche area where the kids are accepting of each other," said Hortz.

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