September 25, 2018
The Waukee Warrior Regiment recently kicked off their second competition to Omaha on Saturday, September 22, finishing off with third place. Unexpectedly, the trip began with a rocky start when two instruments, a trombone and clarinet flew out from one of the bus compartments during the ride to the competition.
There were different opinions on what exactly happened that led to the incident. Sophomore James Tormey, a student who rode on the same bus explained, “So what happened is I’m pretty sure one of the compartments just came loose, like a bump on the interstate. I think it was securely latched and everything… I don’t think it was anyone’s fault.” His saxophone had hung out of the compartment but was safely caught before anything could fall out.
Although there was a possibility the storage compartment was fully latched to begin with, most believed the door was left open on accident since the start. “We were just going along the highway and the buses all pulled over… the chaperones and our bus driver all got off the bus. One of the band moms got back on board and told us that the cargo hold was open and had been open [the whole time],” sophomore Miranda Basart explained.
Sophomore Uchenna Okereafor, the owner of the misplaced clarinet told, “The bus driver forgot to shut the storage door underneath the bus and we stopped for some people to get out. I checked and my instrument, and one other trombone had been misplaced.” Luckily, the trombone was found on Ashworth right before the interstate. Unfortunately, the clarinet was never recovered.
Band instruments are known to be expensive. The more well-made an instrument is, the more expensive the materials are used to build it. Because of the high prices, many students start out with renting one before making their commitment to purchasing the instrument. To have an instrument be misplaced, let alone put it at risk would be devastating. “Your instrument, you kind of have a bond with it almost. So if it’s at risk, I think all of the band people especially, we get how attached you can get to an instrument because it can almost define you, especially in marching band. That’s what would make it a big deal.” Basart stated.
There was uncertainty about whoever was responsible for making sure the compartment was latched. Nonetheless, the bus company decided to compensate for Okereafor’s clarinet. When asked about the reimbursement, she replied “The bus driver, they’ve already contacted my parents and the bus company is going to buy me a new instrument.”
An incident like this would definitely be something to learn from. As minor as the incident was to some who were not impacted, it could have easily become something bigger. Basart stated, “I think an issue like this, I’m glad it wasn’t bigger, but when you think about how bad it could’ve been and how we could’ve lost a lot of instruments, I think it’s definitely something to learn from. I don’t think this will happen in the future.”