Bethany J. Royer
PIQUA — It is a dilemma many groups would like to have, an increase in membership, but for the Piqua Marching Band — all 101 of them — it means asking for a little help.
“That’s the most it has been in approximately 20 years,” said Randy Cissner, drum instructor, whose excitement over the growing participation in the school band was equal to that of the group’s growing sense of pride and their impending annual car wash fundraiser.
For Cissner, getting word out on the car wash is an imperative as he is looking to raise more than a few hundred dollars this year but $6,000. Funds that will aid in the purchase of two mallet instruments, a sound system, and wraps, as every financial resource has already been tapped. Grants were used to purchase new uniforms for the band which ran close to $30,000, while the school board helped with the purchase of used but newer instruments such as trumpets and mellophones.
“My problem, that I have on my end, is that I have so many drummers I’m out of instruments,” explained Cissner who will be in charge of a quarter of the marching band this year but doesn’t have enough to go around, making this third annual fundraiser a major event.
“That’s the hard part,” said Cissner of transforming a typical fundraising of few hundred dollars to thousands with a perspective on the increase consisting of mallets costing $2,000 each, an improved sound system at $1,000, with drum wraps at $450. The latter part of taking to the field this year with new uniforms and newer instruments that will not only give the audience an opportunity to witness and hear the pride of Piqua, but the band members to feel it.
“That inner sense of pride is what has come back to this band,” said Cissner who has an extensive history with the school band going back to his own marching band days and for the last four years as the drum instructor where membership stood at 65 members. “It is just so amazing to see the difference from four years to now.”
After last year’s so-close win at state competition, losing by .05 points, Cissner says the band now has a belief in both their ability to win at competition and in the band director’s vision. However, it is more than just looking good, feeling good, or sounding good — it is also about participation.
“That’s the bigger thing, every child should have a chance to play,” said Cissner on making sure there is an instrument for everyone who wants to play. “I just want a little bit to help bring this band back up to the glory it used to be, and that’s where I need help.”
Members of the Piqua Marching Band will hold their third annual PHS percussion car wash fundraiser from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday (June 21) at O’Reilly Auto Parts located at 631 West Water Street. All proceeds go toward new instruments and equipment.
Bethany J. Royer may be reached at (937) 773-2721 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall