Standing with the new timpani set, back row (left to right): Moab Music Festival Executive Director Laura Brown; Grand County High School percussion students Kawika Ho and Alex Lacy; Grand County Middle and High School Band Director Casey Lawson; MMF board trustee Anne Wilson; MMF coordinator Erin Groves. Front row (left to right): Grand County Middle School percussion students Conor Duniway, Theo Lawson and Jacob Knight. [Courtesy photo]

In the fall of 2017, the Moab Music Festival (MMF) collected applications from local music educators for its annual Education Initiative Awards, a program that helps local music educators purchase new resources, from instruments to musical scores, for their music classrooms. Grand County Middle and High School Band Program Director Casey Lawson came to the MMF with a unique request: the Grand County Middle School band program desperately needed a new set of timpani. The existing set included only two drums and was believed to have been purchased in the 1960s. Despite repairs, the set could no longer hold a tune, rendering it essentially useless. Knowing funding would be an obstacle, Ms. Lawson put off the request for as long as possible, but the poor quality of the existing drums was becoming a major setback for her enthusiastic students. A new set of timpani would cost roughly $10,000, which was beyond the means of the school district. However, the MMF board and staff let the need be known, and before long, a private foundation (that wishes to remain anonymous) came forward with the funds to help the MMF purchase a new timpani set for the schools. In the spring of 2018, MMF purchased the new set of timpani, as directed by Ms. Lawson, for the Grand County band program.