Helping Students Hit the Right Notes 

Instrument repair shop strikes a chord with neighborhood school

May 13, 2015

When she saw that the band instruments at her school were in disrepair, Colleen Burger did something about it.

An English teacher at Richards Career Academy, Burger played the trumpet at Illinois State University and reached out to Carl Thacker, owner of Carl’s Pro Band in Bloomington and former instrument repair technician at ISU. Eager to provide his services to a good cause, Thacker and his sons, Austin and Travis, soon began repairing the school’s musical instruments at a fraction of the cost.

 “Many students may not have the opportunity to participate in music outside of school, but this at least gives them a chance to experience it in their classrooms,” said Travis Thacker, who was a key contributor to the instrument repairs.

Now that they have working instruments, the students at Richards are busy creating a full band.

“It’s very exciting, especially because this is all new to them,” said Richards music teacher Anthony Bartucci. “It’s so important for students to have a form of art in their lives. What they get out of it isn’t just academic - it helps their character development as well.”

As a former student musician, Burger agreed.  

“Besides giving them a home – a place where they can feel comfortable - music opens a lot of doors for students, even making college a possibility where it might not have been before,” she said. “It’s somewhere they feel really accepted.”

Page Last Modified on Thursday, August 09, 2018