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After a decade without a music program, Kansas City's Northeast High School has a band

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Courtesy of Ricky Maltbia
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The Northeast High School band usually has about 25 students, but due to the students' schedules, it's sometimes smaller during practices.

With funding from the Kansas City Public Schools, Northeast High School was selected for a pilot program to show the district the benefits of the arts and to bring a culture of marching bands back in its schools.

Northeast High School has a marching band again, with hopes it can be permanent.

The band comes courtesy of new funding from the Kansas City Public Schools. Northeast's band director, Ricky Maltbia, said he basically had to start the program all over again from scratch.

"I had instruments but no people to play the instrument. So it was very tough, getting the kids to be interested," Maltbia said.

That's a testament to exposure, Maltbia said.

"Most of the kids had never seen an example of a marching band or band period here at KCPS," he said. "Bringing the culture here, taking the kids to places like William Jewell (College) and showing them examples of bands — I think that helped a lot with recruitment"

  • Ricky Maltbia, Northeast High School Band Director
  • Adrian Walker, sophomore and drum major at Northeast High School
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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
Reginald David is an assistant producer with Up To Date. You can reach him at reginalddavid@kcur.org.
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