West Seattle High School on a quest for missing music

You might call this a sort of lost-and-found notice – West Seattle High School‘s music program has lost some sheet music over the years, and hopes you have found it, and can return it! The announcement:

Did you ever play an instrument or sing in a school group at West Seattle High? Do you still have sheet music or music books that were taken home for practice, but never made it back? If so, the WSHS Music Department would LOVE to get these items back! (You will owe no fines and can remain anonymous if you wish.)

WSHS has an extensive music collection dating back to the school’s opening over 100 years ago, but many pieces are unusable because of missing parts. In many cases, replacement parts are either no longer in print or are expensive. Sometimes, it would take only a single returned part to make a piece playable again!

You may return your sheet music and books in one of the following ways:

— By mailing them to Mr. Ethan Thomas, Music Department, West Seattle High School, 3000 California Ave. SW, Seattle, WA 98116

— By taking them to the special box in the West Seattle High School library. (Please enter the building through the west courtyard.) Current students may take the music directly to the band room.

— By dropping them off with one of our volunteer music sorters, Toni Reineke. Email tonireineke@comcast.net to get info on location.

If you have questions, please email Mr. Thomas at etthomas1@seattleschools.org or leave a message for him at 206-252-8800.

P.S. If you or your friends or family have music that belongs to other West Seattle schools (e.g., Sealth, Madison, Denny) and want to deliver it to us, we’ll ensure that it is reunited with the appropriate school.

P.S.S. Do you have a used instrument gathering dust? WSHS also welcomes instrument donations!

4 Replies to "West Seattle High School on a quest for missing music"

  • Trickycoolj January 16, 2014 (6:05 pm)

    Heh I recently came across a few pieces from my high school. I debated sending them back and never got around to it. Maybe I should…

    That said if they’re only missing a part or two perhaps they could contact other schools or community bands to get a copy of the missing part. That’s what my community band often has to do with other groups since we often buy second hand music.

  • Toni January 17, 2014 (9:44 am)

    Hello, Trickycoolj. PLEASE send the music back, whether it’s from a local school or not. In addition to the hassle of tracking down replacement parts, there are copyright issues. The music teachers at your school would be grateful to you!

  • sam-c January 17, 2014 (10:38 am)

    this is an interesting article/ memo, to me as a non-music person. (I can’t read music, nor do I play an instrument- one of my only regrets, maybe when I retire).

    but I would have never imagined that getting copies of music would be so complicated. can sheet music be purchased from a store? or even online, pay a fee and then you get a PDF that you can download and print ? trying to track down old copies of music sounds so 1880’s to me….

  • Toni January 18, 2014 (4:29 pm)

    Thank you for the questions, Sam-C.

    The problem is that many of these sets of music are what is called in the publishing industry “out of print.” What that means is that the publisher no longer supplies the set or any of the parts–in any form whatsoever. This is very frustrating because copyright laws prohibit filling in the parts from other sources–though it is often done.

    During my own music teaching career, I was able to track down the source of a music booklet I wanted to use with my orchestra. In this particular case, I was looking for the missing clarinet part, and the holder of the publisher’s archived library was willing to provide me a copy–for $30!

    Wish there were an easier process because, as we said, some of the pieces we’d like to fill in are staples of the band and orchestra literature–pieces all students should play during high school.

    Thanks for your interest!

    (one of the WSHS music-sorting volunteers)

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