Traverse City Record-Eagle


April 19, 2010

New notes for old horns

Annual event matches musicians with instruments

TRAVERSE CITY -- A win-win-win scenario Saturday benefits young area musicians and their families.

The Used Instrument Sale, hosted annually by the Traverse City Music Boosters, offers affordable band and orchestra instruments for sale. Families with a new musician in sixth grade, especially, could find a bargain to help launch their student on an instrument.

The event, held at West Middle School from 1 to 4 p.m., features a range of band and orchestra instruments. In the past, guitars or drum sets have also been offered for sale.

Another benefit of the sale is that sellers can bring instruments that have been outgrown -- whether due to a child growing or advancing in talent -- or are no longer needed. The sale allows the owner to recoup some of the cost.

"A typical scenario is that students will purchase a starter-level instrument in sixth grade and then move up to a higher-level instrument in their high school years," said Jeremy Treadwell, chair of the event for the Music Boosters. "So that beginning-level instrument would otherwise sit around and this gets it back into the hands of students who will play it."

The final bonus is that 15 percent of each sale goes to the Traverse City Music Boosters scholarship fund. With typically 100 instruments changing hands during the event, this equates to around $2,000 -- or six scholarships -- funded every spring.

The sale welcomes any interested buyer or seller, not just families in the Traverse City Area Public School district. There is no fee to attend or to bring an instrument for sale.

The event will be held in the school's Little Theater. Instruments to be sold may be dropped off between 9 and 11:30 a.m. that day in the same location. Trained volunteers evaluate and help the seller select a price. Sellers can pick up checks or unsold instruments between 4 and 5 p.m.

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