These kids were recognized after a number of successful band competitions. The competitions were not for this trip, but their successes did get them noticed.
The money for the trip... The kids did a number of fundraisers starting about a year ago. The purpose of the fundraisers was clearly listed as being for this trip. The remainder of the money - to the tune of about $500 a head - was paid for by individual parents, like myself. So, this was not a handout by the school district. They were given the opportunity to go, raised money by running car washes, etc, and we parents picked up the difference.
Let's talk about Band, itself:
We at NBHS are in the very situation that you describe. There's little money for anything. Most instruments are are purchased or rented by individual parents. The large instruments like bass drums, marimbas, etc are very old, and literally held together with tape and string. We have had a local business, Varno Instrument repair, help us in a large number of cases, and the both the NBHS administration, as well as the school board are doing everything they can, but there's just no money. No money means it's up to us parents to provide for a very worthwhile cause.
I will say that from the school functions I've been to, band members generally rank very high academically. The discipline required of them for Band spills over into their core subjects. Also, if you'll ask any administrator, or teacher, the incidence of disciplinary issues with band students is virtually non-existent.
In a nutshell, this is not one of those schools where you'll find very much of anything "brand new".
I hope this answers any who may have had the very same questions.
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