PALESTINE, Ill. (WTHI) - Education cuts in Illinois forcing some tough decisions on school districts and in some cases that means cuts to programs like music and band. But in Palestine Illinois, the community has rallied to keep the school’s band marching even without help from the state.
The roar of the marching band echoes through the halls at Palestine’s elementary school. Its a familiar sound that kicks off the school year and one that was almost silenced this year.
When we last talked to Superintendent Joe Sorenberger the state's funding of public school had forced them into tough decisions. One of which was cutting programs like band.
"People said can we save programs and our response was with a lack of money we are getting from the state and the cuts we have to make. For us to keep certain programs going that money would have to come from outside sources," Sornberger said.
The Palestine school district prepared for a year without a band instructor and possibly without a band.
But, when the doors opened at Palestine schools this week the band played on.
"We had some community members who decided to come together and they anonymously donated $33,000 to keep our band program up and going," Sornberger said.
Practice began on time again like every year. The instructor counted off the notes from their sheet music and the band tightened with every run.
Not a moment too late because these middle school musicians have less then a month to prepare for their labor day parade debut.
Educators have another year to worry about how to keep the band together.
"The community is becoming active and we have band boosters that are really stepping up and trying to plan ways to raise the money again. So we can continue with our band program,” Sornberger said.
A community that came together, when the state wouldn't step up.
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