everyone wants a bargain

Each year I have taught, I've received a dollar amount for the purchase of instruments for the band program. This has been supplemented with a yearly fundraiser and receiving one grant during the past seven years. I've never gotten everything I wanted when I wanted it, but the school has supported a steady accumulation of things you expect a band program to have.

Early on, I wanted to stretch the budget further than seemed possible with brand-new, mainline brand instruments. The best used deal I have found was for a pair of vintage Ludwig copper timpani which came with a free vintage Slingerland bass drum. It was probably the best $600 I've spent; I still rely on all three drums every day.

I've seen some pretty terrible instruments (or instrument-shaped objects), but after personally playing on a number of imports that cost far less than their longstanding name-brand counterparts, I feel like I have been pretty successful in finding some things that work. Also, the quality has improved noticeably over the years I've been teaching.

For now, here is a list of the non name brand instruments my school owns. Down the road I'll provide some more detailed comments for many of them.

RS Berkeley P102 Piccolo

Schiller Model P Piccolo

Accent Oboe (used for six years)

Tempest Low Eb Bass Clarinet

RS Berkeley BS350 Bassoon

Anthem A-2000 Alto Sax (recently won at the Eau Claire Jazz Festival--haven't had much time to check it out yet)

Schiller American Heritage Tenor Saxophone (replaced by this newer model)

Schiller Model IV Elite French Horn (2, plus two owned by students in the past few years)

Schiller Compensating Euphonium

Schiller 4-valve (non-compensating) Euphonium

Schiller American Heritage 4-valve rotary tuba (used for five years)

Schiller American Heritage 4-valve piston tuba (2)

Schiller American Heritage 3-valve piston tuba (used for five years)