Thanks to a generous $1,500 grant from the Maplewood Elementary School PTA, the Mustang Marimba Madness elite marimba group now has a 3 1/2 octave box resonator.
It's based on an Australian design and hand-made out of sustainable materials by Bellingham-based woodworker Tom Bourne.
On Tuesday, Oct. 29, the 20-member marimba group at Maplewood made up of fifth and sixth graders, performed for the student body at a Spirit Day assembly raising awareness for the fight against breast cancer.
The marimba group presented a large 'Thank You' note to the Maplewood PTA.
"This is a spectacular group of people," said the marimba band's director and Maplewood music teacher Maggie Smith. "I was blown away by the support of our PTA."
With the new 3 1/2 octave marimba, Smith was able to add two additional students to the band. Up to three to four students can perform on the instrument.
Charlie Schoos, a 11-year-old sixth grader in the group, was excited to have the instrument in the band.
"It has a bigger range and you're able to do more harmonies with it," Schoos said.
Sydney Lewis, also an 11-year-old sixth grader, was fascinated by its size.
"I like how it's bigger and there is enough space where we're not all waiting for an instrument to play," Lewis said.
Look for a full story on Maplewood's marimba band in the Nov. 6 print edition of the Herald.
Reporter Andrew Fickes can be reached at 253-552-7001 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @herald_andrew.