HOUGHTON – Back to school means many things, including last-minute inventories on supplies such as notebooks, calculators, pens, pencils and other necessities. For school band members, additional necessities include things like valve oil, reeds, and other equipment.
Good Times Music, on Shelden Avenue in Houghton, is the only music store between Marquette and Duluth. Owner Bruce Rundman is aware of this and ensures his store is able to meet the needs of high school band members and even local college bands.
Cloe Borree, assistant manager of Good Times, said the store does a lot through its rental program for local students.
“We work with a program called NEMC (National Educational Music Company)”, she says, “and they will send us the instruments, and then we will distribute them to the people.”
Students can get waivers, she said, whereby store staff will make any repairs or maintenance the instruments might need free of charge.
Borree said NEMC rents out band instruments like trumpets, tubas and other typical marching bands, but they also rent out string instruments like violins and cellos, as well as percussion instruments – “everything you can imagine.”
Borree said that in addition to the instruments available for rental, Good Times also offers a specific type of drumstick required by the MTU Pep Band. The store also offers reeds for wind instruments. “We have a million” she says.
The store offers its musical instrument rental program, EASYRENT, powered by NEMC, the store’s website says.
“Through this program, we are able to deliver the benefit of personalized service directly to your community,” indicates the website, “backed by a national company, giving you access to the largest inventory of quality teacher-approved musical instruments, new or like new, such as trumpets, clarinets, trombones, flutes, saxophones, violins, violas, cellos, percussion and many others .”
NEMC is a national affiliate program, established through community music stores across the country. NEMC is known for the rental, sale and service of school bands and orchestral instruments, distributed nationwide through this network of local, community-owned music stores or directly to schools. or parents.
Within the school districts of the Copper Country Intermediate School District, high school bands are a source of pride for student musicians, their parents, and the wider community.
One example is the Calumet High School Marching Band, whose nickname is The Pride of the Keweenaw. The CHS Marching Band secured a spot to perform at Walt Disney World last March.