Rector High Music Department Benefits From HHF Donation

Thursday, November 12, 2015
Rector High School sophomores Rhonda Walker (left) and Andrew Garron play instruments donated to the music department by the RHS Helping Hands Foundation during the final football game of the season. Walker is playing the mellophone and Garron plays the marching baritone. (T-D photo/Ron Kemp)

The RHS Helping Hands Foundation has stepped up to help students improve their musical education by donating a mellophone, a marching baritone and a concert baritone to the RHS music department.

The department previously borrowed the marching baritone used from Greene County Tech and the mellophone and concert baritone the school owned were not in the best of shape. The brand new instruments cost approximately $4,700, and band instructor Daniel Van Aalsburg said the new equipment is priceless for the students using them.

"Having the right equipment helps get the notes out clearer and more precise," Van Aalsburg said. The new concert baritone contains four valves instead of three and will allow students to play lower notes with a better sound and has "very nice concert range."

The new marching baritone is a low brass instrument that plays the same range as a trombone. "We don't have many trombone players, and the baritone can be used to make up for some of that," Van Aalsburg said.

The mellophone is the band version of a French horn and looks similar to a trumpet. "This was very much needed for the band." Van Aalsburg said. "The old one was bent and beat up, which is not good for sound." Not only were these instruments much needed, but now more students can learn to play them as the old ones will still be used. Helping Hands has helped the music department with instruments for several years and "without them we wouldn't have the musical ability we have," Van Aalsburg said. "Thank you Helping Hands for all you have done for us."

The new mellophone was played by sophomore Rhonda Walker and the marching baritone by sophomore Andrew Garron during the final football game Thursday night. All of the new instruments will be played during the music department's concert after the Christmas parade Dec. 3.

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