by Stacy Hanson is Marketing Communications Director at Wenger Corporation and helped facilitate the product installation at Edmondson-Westside High School in Baltimore.
We can all relate to having a messy room. Or office. Or home. It happens – and it makes us feel disorganized, unbalanced and disheveled.
The same goes for instruments in a band room. Having a space for everything and keeping everything organized and properly stored makes us feel orderly, prepared and proud.
Tubas, trumpets and tambourines
At Wenger Corporation in Owatonna, Minnesota, Project Manager Tricia Wolcott says her job is to respond to the needs of our customers with storage products that accommodate their music programs. In a recent survey of teachers all across the country, organization was at the top of the priority list.
“An organized classroom leads to a positive and successful learning environment,” Wolcott explains. “Students can spend more time playing if they can spend less time looking for their instruments.”
“Everybody wants flexibility and the ability to accommodate a variety of needs from one season to the next,” says Wolcott. “We create cabinets that can be reconfigured based on a school’s changing instrumentation and schedule. They also coordinate with our existing products to allow you to customize as needed.”
She uses the example of needing the space for 20 trumpets in one season, but only ten the following. Or needing the space for larger and odd-shaped items like tubas, keyboards or drum harnesses.
“We also design them with traffic flow in mind. You don’t want all 20 trumpets to be stored next to each other because that would create a traffic jam. We spread them out to keep everyone moving,” Wolcott says.
A good storage system also protects a school’s investments. Instruments can be expensive and students can be hard on them. Storing them properly cuts down on wear and tear.
Finally, an orderly classroom instills a sense of pride to both students and teachers.
“Think of any classroom: when you walk into a neat and organized space, it has a welcoming vibe to it. The teacher can be proud of it and it makes the students feel focused, confident and ready to get started.”
Ellen DeGeneres Show Music Room Makeover
Students at Edmondson-Westside High School in Baltimore, Maryland recently felt that exact sentiment, combined with unbridled excitement, when they walked into the big reveal of their newly renovated music room. There were gasps and screams. Eyes widened. Hands flew up to cover jaws dropping open.
The show’s producers had heard about Baltimore drummers Timothy Fletcher and Malik Perry, better known as A1 Chops, who had graduated from the school and had begun drumming professionally while looking for ways to give back to the community. The duo began drumming in high school and decided to take their talents to the streets of Baltimore performing songs with complex drum tricks and popular dance moves. Ellen brought them on her show to perform and show how the two have been giving back to their community along the way.
“I want to give back to the next generation and show them that you can be anything you want to be in life,” says Fletcher.
“Teaching is my passion,” adds Perry. “If there was a plan B, I’d be a drum teacher.”
A1 Chops became the focus of the show’s web series, “The Build Up.” As part of the series, crews refurbished the music room at their alma mater, which needed a serious upgrade after decades of use. Broken chairs and music stands littered the cluttered room and instruments were piled into the back storage room when not in use.
That’s where Wenger came in.
Wenger partnered with their team to supply a roomful of equipment that converted an old, outdated and disorganized music room into a beautiful, orderly, acoustically superior space. They installed acoustic wall treatments, music chairs and stands, conductor’s equipment and instrument storage cabinets.
“The renovation of the rehearsal room and storage area is a true transformation and will help this program flourish,” Wolcott says.
Fast, flexible and sturdy
Whether in a newly renovated room or a well-used space, sometimes making storage changes happens at the last minute. No problem. Wolcott says they thought about that during the design process, too.
“It takes less than two minutes to adjust our shelves from one arrangement to the next. The cabinets are available with single, double and triple column formats. Shelf packs allow expansion as the program changes or grows without purchasing new cabinets,” Wolcott says.
They incorporated a patented shelf pin design to eliminate loose clips, dowels or pegs, which are tough to keep track of from one season to the next. The pin holding the shelf can be recessed when the shelf is not in use. It simply folds up and out of the way, allowing for easy shelf relocation. A locking shelf latch provides a stable and secure solution once the shelves are back in place.
Finally, the shelves themselves are made to last. They’re constructed from a durable polycarbonate material that provides long-term resilience. They’re rated to 100 pounds per shelf to provide years of use with any type of instrument and come with a ten-year warranty.
“Some of our storage cabinets have been in schools for 30 years,” Wolcott says. “We’re happy to help provide a long-term solution for schools to help everyone stay organized and ready to play.”
Learn more and see the new Baltimore band room
Watch the Ellen Show series and the students’ emotional reactions to the stunning new space on ellentube. The music room makeover portion airs during episodes three and four.
Stacy Hanson is Marketing Communications Director at Wenger Corporation and helped facilitate the product installation at Edmondson-Westside High School in Baltimore.