Community Donations Save Sparks HS Music Program - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Community Donations Save Sparks HS Music Program

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The Sparks High School (SHS) band is playing a happy tune after their program was brought back from the dead.

At the end of the last school year, when the school was facing budget cuts, the Sparks High music program got the axe. But now, it's back thanks to more than a dozen community partners, who donated $45,000 to keep the program alive.

"I just want to say thank you to the community, to the donors, for coming through and reinstating our band program," SHS Principal Kevin Carroll said. "It's just been a blessing to us."

Carroll said some of the students were actually looking at transferring schools so they could still be in a music program. He said it was a top priority to get the program funded, and they found out at the very last minute, just days before the beginning of the fall semester, that they were able to raise the money.

"{It was} incredible," Carroll said. "I can't even explain it. Walking into the band classroom every day and hearing it, it just gives me goose bumps."

"Band is so much more than learning an instrument," new SHS Band and Choir Director Garrett Spalka said. "They learn to grow up here. They really learn the responsibility of what hard work means, what dedication it takes to be a good musician. They also learn leadership skills and they learn how to be part of a team."

Carroll said he reached out to the Sierra Arts Foundation and the community to raise the $45,000. The Sparks High School band has a long history of performing at public events, like the Sparks Hometown Christmas Parade and the Nevada Day Parade.

Spalka said while the program is funded for this year, they do still need some financial help in order to make repairs on instruments and replace old ones.

To donate, call the school at (775) 353-5550.

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