Video: Anonymous donor buys Richmond High School band new instruments

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RICHMOND (KRON) — An anonymous donor bought the Richmond High School band all brand new instruments, spending $76,000.

The new instruments arrived Wednesday, and KRON was there when the students played them for the first time. Before Wednesday, that could never have happened.

“We had maybe four clarinets, something like six flutes, and like half of each were broken,” band teacher Andrew Wilke said.

And most of the instruments were from the 60s.

It’s his first year teaching music at Richmond High, and he wants to improve the program, so the band set up a fundraising website. To help, the Lamorinda Music Store in Lafayette offered to fix old instruments for free.

But that will not be necessary now.

“And the gentleman went into that shop and offered to pay for everything,” Wilke said.

An anonymous donor bought every flute, drum, and saxophone on the band’s wish list. Wilke met the man once, who did not explain why he gave such a generous gifts.

“…By the way, tell the kids when they get their new instruments that their anonymous donor is very proud of them,” Wilke said. “And then he just walked off.”

The new instruments have homes on these once bare shelves. Watching the kids play them, you can hear their confidence has hit a high note.

“How like resounding they sound, they just sound so sonorous, and…I feel…it vibrating through my body,” senior Joel Calderon said. “It just feels nice.”

Calderon, who has dreams of being a professional musician, said these instruments have changed his life.

“And that, in turn, they will help improve the school and the school’s band program,” Calderon said. “That’s what I see in these instruments. Kind of like a future”

That future looks and sound great.WEB LINKS:

Band’s Fundraising Page —> https://www.youcaring.com/richmond-high-school-band-490963

All new donations will go to the band program at Kennedy High School, which is also in need of help. The donations will go toward uniforms and a music scholarship fund.

Unloading Instruments from the car (Part 1): https://youtu.be/IX1RiRKTryk

Unloading Instruments from the car (Part 2): https://youtu.be/m-WF5YZM1Y8

Unloading Instruments from the car (Part 3): https://youtu.be/Dav09SU8Eic

Bringing the instruments into the band room: https://youtu.be/wKCNgAC7ots

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