2018 Bond Issue has UCS Marching Bands starting the school year on a positive note
2018 Bond Issue has UCS Marching Bands starting the school year on a positive note
Posted on 08/06/2019
Group shot of Ford II bandWhen UCS Marching Bands start their season this year, there will be something extra to add to the excitement of their award-winning performances – new instruments. 

The bands, which are currently at their home and away camps, are receiving nearly 200 new instruments, courtesy of the voter-approved 2018 bond issue. 

“Our community highly values the arts, and we appreciate their support of our students and the district’s nationally-recognized music program,” Superintendent Dr. Christine Johns said. “Music education and the arts are critical to the success of our students, and the new instruments will enhance the work of our teachers to inspire a life-long passion and love for music.”

The bond issue is funding the purchase of nearly $400,000 in instruments for the bands at Eisenhower High School, Henry Ford II High School, Stevenson High School and Utica High School. 

The new instruments were identified through a needs assessment developed with input from the marching band directors and parent boosters. 

Christopher Traskal, Eisenhower High School band teacher, said the new instruments will make a difference for his school’s 195-member band.

“Truly, without the kindness and generosity of the entire UCS community, we would not be able to do what we do, and for that we are grateful beyond words," Traskal said.

In addition, the bands will be marching this year on artificial fields which were replaced this summer through the 2018 bond issue at the district’s two stadiums – Swinehart and Runkel fields. 

The community support of arts is a major factor in the district continuing to be recognized as one of the nation’s 2019 Best Communities for Music Education by NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants).
 The district has received the recognition five times for demonstrating outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. 

The instruments are part of the first phase of projects funded by a $155 bond issue approved by UCS voters in November, 2018. The bond issue improvements are focused on three critical areas: safety and security; infrastructure improvements identified through the district’s long-range facility program; and technology.