Klein ISD student Michael Casagrande has not stopped playing the double bass since he was in the fifth grade strings program at Hassler Elementary. As he works toward becoming an Eagle Scout, the Klein Oak High School sophomore has found a way to give back to the community.
The instrument drive benefiting KISD elementary students will take place from 6-8pm on Thursday, September 29, in the Klein Oak orchestra room. All instruments will be accepted, as well as monetary contributions that will either be used for repairs or to potentially purchase new instruments. Donations are tax-deductible, and all donors will receive a receipt for their contribution.
"Orchestra is a huge part of my life," said Casagrande, who has aspirations of one day becoming an orchestra director in Klein. "It has been such a great experience for me that I would like to help introduce this to other fifth grade students in our district.
"Unfortunately, there are many children who would love the opportunity to learn to play an instrument, but with tough economic times, their families may not be able to afford to pay for the rental of an instrument," he noted.
Casagrande is responsible for organizing and facilitating this project, and he is also working very closely with Monte Mast, director of fine arts at Klein ISD. Casagrande's career goals came as no surprise to Mast, who noted that currently 11 percent of fine arts teachers in the district are KISD graduates.
Upon the completion of the event, Mast and his staff will work together to identify students across the district that will most benefit from the donated items. Mast said these instruments will open the door for those students who are interested in fine arts who might not otherwise have had the opportunity.
"It is really exciting because this is going to be one of those things that keeps on giving, and students for years to come will benefit from this project," said Mast. "This is a neat project by a kid who found a real enjoyment through music, and we are grateful he has found a way to give back to the larger KISD music community."