Music enthusiasts who may have an instrument or two collecting dust can now give their gently-used musical tools to the West McDowell Middle School band program.

Because of the large amount of students who have signed up for band, instruments are now being collected by the band program to make sure every child who wants to has a chance to play an instrument.

Band director John Ballard stated that a lot of times, students do not sign up for the band program because their families can’t afford to invest in an instrument.

That’s why the program is currently collecting instruments that can be rented by students for just the cost of maintenance.

“We are obviously not a business and we will check out school-owned instruments to individuals for only the cost of maintaining the instrument,” said Ballard. “Local music stores have been great to work with and rent instruments to many of our students, but can't make the instruments as accessible as we can.”

Ballard said many students in the past who had only been part of band because of the school rental program had excelled.

“The instruments in highest demand right now are trombones, alto and tenor saxophones and clarinets,” said Ballard. “We have, at this point, checked out nearly all of the instruments at West, so our search is not limited to the instruments mentioned above.”

Folks interested in donating instruments can do so by dropping them off at West McDowell Middle School.

Ballard hopes folks will give forward and see what their donations can do for middle school students.

“I would love to show donors what we're up to and what will happen with that instrument,” said Ballard.

For information on donating an instrument, email John Ballard at John.Ballard@McDowell.k12.nc.us or call WMMS at (828) 652-3390.