BOE approves music dept. donations
The first item was an upright piano that a Darien family wanted to donate to the high school because they were moving out of town. Music Director Richard Sadlon said the piano was in "mint condition" and the high school would be the most appropriate place for it to be.
"We have needs around the district but Darien High School has climate control which would help eliminate the need to have the piano constantly tuned," Sadlon said.
Sadlon estimated that the piano was worth about $4,500.
The board unanimously approved the donation.
The second gift item dealt with replacing a number of the instruments owned by the DHS.
Sadlon told the board there was a real need to start replacing some of the school's instruments because they have reached the point where it is no longer cost-efficient to keep repairing them.
"The ones we have now have lasted for 30 to 40 years," Sadlon said. "If you buy quality instruments and take are of them, you can expect the new instruments to last that long."
Sadlon presented a fund-raising proposal that would help acquire the necessary funds to pay for new instruments. The fundraiser involves sending a letter to the to the community soliciting donations.
"We are expecting an increase in enrollment in the DHS band and we want to make sure we are able to service the clientele," Sadlon said.
In an interview with the Darien News, Sadlon said the money raised will be used to replace a xylophone, a concert bass drum, a set of four tympanies, a full-size marimba, a vibraphone, some tubas, a bass trombone, three euphoniums, a baritone horn and a set of concert orchestra bells.
"We want to make sure we have instruments for all the students," Sadlon said.
Several board members raised concerns about singling out students whose families might not be able to afford giving a large amount of money. Sadlon reassured the board that the fund-raising committee would recognize all donations no matter the amount.
Secretary Clara Sartori said she was glad to see the efforts to replace the instruments moving forward but asked if there was any grant money available.
Sadlon said he would look into possible grant money but noted that Darien rarely qualified for grants.
BOE Chairman Kimberly Westcott was concerned about the transparency of any donations and asked if the donations would be able to be seen by the board. Sadlon said there would be an accounting of all the donations for the board to review.