Dodge City Community College receives funds for band instruments

Lance Ziesch
Special to the Globe
Through an anonymous donation of $17,765.49, the Dodge City Community College music department purchased new band instruments during the month of February.

The Dodge City Community College music department, due to a generous anonymous donation through the DCCC Foundation, purchased $17,765.49 in new band instruments during the month of February.

“I am very proud of our donors for recognizing the needs across campus,” said Christina Haselhorst, DCCC Foundation director. “It can sometimes be difficult to find the funding needed for different departments, and generous donors — like this fine arts donor — are an integral part of the Foundation’s efforts to contribute to the mission of DCCC.”

Kerry Kuplic, DCCC associate professor of vocal music and fine arts division chair, said the new instruments will not only be an investment in the college’s future, but they also will allow the instrumental ensembles to vastly expand their repertoires and play a wider variety of musical styles.

“The donation itself was an incredibly generous contribution that has allowed the department to make a substantial investment in instruments at no cost to the college,” Kuplic said. “With proper maintenance, these instruments will last for a very long time and will be able to be used by generations of musicians.”

Nancy Sapp, DCCC visiting director of instrumental music, said that when she was hired in August, she was asked to review the current inventory of instruments, to purchase new instruments, to develop a system for keeping better track of the instrumental inventory, and to begin rebuilding the instrumental program.

Although the band is still quite small, Sapp said she has seen an increase in band numbers this semester. In addition, she said there are also now more students taking private lessons. Last semester, there were two. This semester, there are nine.

“Last semester I had six students and one community member in band,” Sapp said. “This semester, I have nine students and one community member. And I am very pleased that one of the new students this semester is a high school student who is taking band for dual credit.”

Sapp said she would like to see this growth — as well as the growth of the entire fine arts program —continue in the coming semesters. And she also hopes that more area high school junior and senior instrumentalists would consider enrolling in the band for duel credit.

“At one point, we had a jazz ensemble, as well as a symphony made up of students and community members,” she said. “I would love to see both of those programs active again.”

After Sapp completed the department’s instrument inventory, she found that the college had a variety of 64 instruments, which included strings, woodwinds and brass.

“With the new instruments, we will have 78 — not counting all the percussion equipment,” she said. “While this seems like a lot, ideally we need to replace several more instruments. But with limited funds from the college budget, it is not possible at this time. Instruments are expensive and a huge investment.”

The new instruments, which Sapp purchased from Senseney Music Inc. of Wichita, include two flutes, one piccolo, two clarinets, one baritone saxophone, one trumpet, one C trumpet, one French horn, three violins, one viola and one double bass.

Kuplic said he is eager to hear the new instruments at upcoming DCCC concerts and recitals.

“In the past, student access to quality instruments had been a concern,” he said. “Now our students and community members will be able to continue making great music on beautiful new instruments. I hope stories like this will inspire other community members to see just how they might be able to make a lasting contribution to DCCC and to our community.”