The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

New Music Instrument for the BSHS Music Department


May 30, 2018

The Big Sandy High School Band shows off the new Yamaha Marimba, purchased with a grant for the music department.

The Big Sandy Music Department received funds from the Big Sandy Education Foundation to purchase a Yamaha Marimba for the percussion section.

The marimba is an instrument made out of wood that resembles a piano. It has a row of wooden bars along the bottom where the "white" keys would be on a piano and the row above them would be the "black" keys on a piano.

Instead of playing it with ten fingers, it is played with two to four mallets. Once the bar is struck with a mallet, the sound travels through the pipes that are hanging underneath to make it resonate louder. This instrument will add a new, mellow sound to the Big Sandy Band program. The kids have already described it as "peaceful and soothing".

When you think of a percussion section in the band, you may only think of bass drum, snare drum, and cymbals. These instruments don't provide a melody or any change of pitch to make it sound more interesting.

The Marimba will allow the percussionists to play the melody with other instruments in the band. Any percussionist with a background in piano will make the perfect candidate to play it.

Mrs. Robertson was very excited to have the opportunity to request such an instrument from the Foundation. "Not every school gets the chance to add an instrument like this to their band and we are very grateful to the Foundation for funding our request." A senior, Jasmine Genereux, played the marimba at the High School Spring Concert on May 22nd, "I am super thankful the Foundation used their funds to purchase it.

The band program can improve a lot with the Marimba." For more information on the Big Sandy Education Foundation and how to donate, please visit the Big Sandy School's webpage at and click on the Foundation tab in the top right corner. This marimba was purchased from Morgenroth Music in Missoula.


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