Oct. 21, 2016 - The AISD spent $1.98 million in bond funds this year on musical instruments, uniforms and equipment, the second of five fine arts phases in the 2014 Bond program.
The bulk of the purchases this year – new instruments – are helping replace old instruments and adding to each school’s existing numbers. Since the AISD eliminated instrument fees at the outset of the bond, student participation in band and orchestra has been rising, increasing the need for instruments. Bond funds are ensuring that no student is denied the opportunity to play an instrument.
A total of 1,386 new instruments were ordered: 541 for high school, 336 for junior high and 508 for elementary. Violins (300), violas (211) and cellos (139), along with various percussion pieces (348), represented over 70 percent of the orders. Most of the others were woodwinds and horns. The district also ordered Orff instruments, pianos, keyboards, harps and bows.
Along with instruments, bond music purchases included chairs, risers, music stands, tuners, metronomes, concert shells, cases, marching uniforms and junior high concert uniforms.
The 2014 Bond package includes $9.8 million over the course of five years for district music capital, or about $1.96 million each year.
“That amount is remarkable for a school district to realize,” said Robert Myers, AISD fine arts coordinator for music. The AISD has made fine arts a real priority and is intent on giving all students the opportunity to participate in the arts and extracurricular activities.
The system for purchasing the new music equipment is, as Myers said, a “remarkably involved process with many checks and balances.”
Teachers at each campus consider their needs and then use an online form to submit their requests to the fine arts department. The fine arts department reviews all the campus requests and then submits a comprehensive batch of requests to the purchasing department to seek bids from potential vendors. The best bids are then sent to the AISD Board of Trustees for approval. Once approval is granted, the items are ordered.