This year the Advanced and Beginning Bands consists of 115 students in the 7th and 8th grade. The band program is growing each year, and next year enrollment is expected to be around 140 students. The KIS band program teaches students not only how to play an instrument and read music, but how to work together. Our teacher, Ms. Kusunoki, emphasizes life lessons like responsibility, teamwork, respect, leadership, compassion and how to be a good person. Our students live in Kailua, Waimanalo, Kaneohe MCBH, and as far away as Waianae. We perform multiple concerts a year and hold many fundraisers to cover the costs of transportation, purchase of music and supplies, and instrument maintenance. With so many more students next year, we need more instruments. The band loans instruments to students for no charge. The school only budgets about $9000 for the program, which covers the cost to buy one instrument among other necessary items and services. The KIS Band Boosters 501(c)(3) non-profit organization holds fundraisers to help with expenses. Fundraisers we held this year were: malasada and sweet bread sales, a rummage sale, two recycling drives, two McDonalds fundraisers, two bake sales, a silent auction, food concessions at concerts, and concert DVD sales. However, these fundraisers are not enough to cover all of the needed expenses. [Because of the increase in band students we need to repair at least 15 more instruments for the 2014-15 school year.]
We want to help the KIS band program because we want others to have this great experience. This program has taught us that if we try our hardest, we can succeed and accomplish our goals. We have become more responsible and mature after only 1 year in the band program because of the experiences we have had and the challenges we faced.
Funded by Oahu, HI (July 2014)