Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So My High School has 2 Selmer Mark VI Tenors (and one Bari), the two Tenor are not even being used and just sit on top of the lockers!!! i was thinking that by my Junior-Senior year ( i am a Sophomore) I could Buy These off my Band Director and fix them up since nobody uses them and possibly he doesnt know they are Mark VI's. i want to know if you guys think this is a good idea?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,596 Posts
Maybe, maybe not. Trying to get a good deal on a premium horn is understandable, but who you are getting it from matters, as it means the seller is getting less than they could. So scoring a Mark VI at a deep discount from a dealer, or even a private seller, is one thing, but doing the same from a public school (I am assuming this is a public school) is another. In a public school, those horns were bought by taxpayer dollars for the benefit of the public.

Assuming the school is short of money (like most are), the best thing for the school and for future students would probably be for the school to sell the Mark VIs for their real market value, and use the money to buy a bunch of Yamaha 23s or other good student horns that would benefit more students.

The fact that they are sitting there unused, however, would tend to indicate that there are not enough sax players as it is, so buying more horns might be a stupid thing to do with the money. What does the music program really need, and could the money be used for that?

On the other hand, if the money from the sale of the horns would just disappear somewhere into the school bureaucracy, and would not benefit the music program, the band director might feel differently, and might want to see those horns go to someone who would make good use of them. But he should probably do that knowing what it is he has.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the advice! i really do hope he knows what they are cause i wouldnt want to get them too cheap, cause i would like the music program to expand. our budget this year just for the fine arts division is HALF of the band budget from last year and so happens to be this year is a Texas 4A State year and we really need to money to pay for buses to our competitons.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,596 Posts
If he is a decent, reasonably intelligent and sane sort of person, I would just have an up-front and honest conversation with him about them, and your ideas, and see what happens. If he is sleazy or stupid or crazy, I don't know what you should do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,466 Posts
If you feel quite sure of a fair price for the horns (i.e. after playing the horns, posting photos here, having your sax teacher play them, etc.), you could make the school an offer slightly below the fair price. You might get a good deal, the school might welcome the cash, you would avoid feeling as if you had cheated the school, and you could potentially sell the horns later, if desired, without losing money.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
Joined
·
7,408 Posts
Typically there are rules for property disposal. It has to be this way to prevent unauthorized selling of school equipment. In the case of a valuable instrument (which should be sold - you don't want them to be ruined), usually an appraisal is required along with a public notice of auction or other form of disposal. This is not to say that there aren't special arrangements sometimes, but it all has to be strictly above-board or heads will roll at the next audit. One way to go is to have the instrument declared 'unserviceable' - a music store with a repair shop certifies that repairs would be cost-prohibitive and/or parts are not available. Then you're involved with a different procedure which basically amounts to a sign-off. I would venture a guess that any school-owned tenor sax that has been around since at least 1974 is probably beat to hell. Still, if it could be had for nothing or a token fee of maybe $100, you might not mind putting $1200 into it. Comparing the total investment to a $3000-$4000 Taiwan tenor, that would be a very good deal. In fact, I think the lowest-priced Taiwan tenor is now over $1000.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2010
Joined
·
3,310 Posts
In an ideal world wouldnt the greater good be best served by the school selling the sixes for say a conservative $10+k on the open market, and spending that money on new horns and repairs as necessary to help the whole department, not just this year or next, but for years to come?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,675 Posts
If I was you I would just bluntly ask him if they were for sale since they weren't being used. If you don't do it someone else will. They're no use to anyone just sitting there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
413 Posts
1saxman has the correct gist of it. Those Mark VI's are the school districts property and as such, they are not for the band teacher to say whether they can be sold or not (crazy but true!) You are dealing with a bureaucracy now (God help you...) so it's not going to be easy! Your best bet would be to get the teacher on board with presenting an idea for an exchange of instruments (i.e. those Yamaha 23's) with reasons why the exchange would be in the district's best interests. You'll have to show that these instruments are actually less cost effective to maintain in the long run than a comparable number of "more robust" student instruments (I prefer the moniker "intermediate" as "student" sounds like 5th grade band starter instruments.) Here's the tricky part: you have to show why it would be better for the music program (i.e. less money spent over a period of time. Remember, it's a bean-counter bureaucracy...) to exchange these instruments rather than just sell them outright and pocket the money to use for "other needs!" It's a tightrope you'll have to walk. Showing that those saxes are unplayable and would require $$$$ to make them so would help matters. Of course, everything has to be totally above board with all of the transaction in total CYA mode!! The reason for this is there is always second guessing about these things! It's quite possible that your teacher will just shake his or her head and say nope!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
I'm quite a few years retired now and my own saxes are a Mauriat tenor, a vintage Selmer tenor (c 1932), an Elkhart sop and a Jupiter alto..........BUT........I also play in a band which has been publicly funded for years and whose instruments date back to the '60s and '70 so guess what.... I have access whenever I want and for as long as I want to a MkVI tenor, MkVI alto and MkVI bari. I think I must be one of the very few people alive who has a set of MkVIs as second instuments. So the answer is, hang on for 50 or so years, join a publicly funded band and enjoy........:mrgreen:
 

·
Forum Contributor 2012-2015
Joined
·
1,325 Posts
Just wondering what kind of saxes the tenor players in your band are playing that would be preferable to a MK VI? When I was in high school,all the school owned instruments were student line instruments.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
Actually I prefer my perfectly set up Mauriat to a MkVI which is in need of a visit to the tech, and none of the Yani owners in the band would pick up a VI in preference to their Yani. The Selmer MkVI, great horn that it was and still is if it's been treated right, is not the holy grail. In my opinion there are some modern horns which are equally as good. There was a chap in the band who had an Inderbinen tenor which he was generous enough to let me have a blow on. It was just stunning and outshone the MkVIs in many areas. I wish I could afford one. I said 'equally as good' just now, but it depends what 'good' is for you. We shouldn't lose sight of the fact that the most important thing is not the horn but the person attached to the end of it.

As for my band's MkVIs, as I said I can use then any time I like, but I don't take advantage. I run my own sax quartet separately from the band and I always use my own tenor for that, but if I'm with the band and particularly if it's an outdoor gig I'll use their MkVIs, firstly because band gigs are where you tend to pick up all your dings and dents, and secondly because there's no way I'm going to run the risk of getting my horns wet !!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
506 Posts
Just wondering what kind of saxes the tenor players in your band are playing that would be preferable to a MK VI? When I was in high school,all the school owned instruments were student line instruments.
It's possible that either a. the tenor players have their own horns, or b. there are no tenor players. When I was in high school (admittedly a number of years ago) all the sax players except the bari player had their own instrument.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member.
Joined
·
2,090 Posts
I'm in the DFW area and my repair tech does work for the Dallas school district, among the many others here. If they (the horns) are in Dallas and you were to ask him what will happen to those horns when they are "retired" by the property management people, he would respond, "they'll be scrapped", to the dust bin. He's seen it happen before. In fact he's expressed to me many times his frustration over the waste by many of the local school districts here. As unbelievable as that sounds, I have to take his word for it. Several years back I played with a Big Band that used the hall of a local comunity college campus to rehearse. In that hall, in plain sight, were Selmer VI Tenors and a new VI bari left unattended, in the open for anyone to walk off with in a completely open ungaurded building.. As far as whoever cared for this equipment, it had no value worth protecting. My tax dollars at work!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
I would talk to the principal about it first. He or she might see it as they are just as an unused instrument collecting dust.
 

·
Über Geek, Forum Contributor 2010 Distinguished SO
Joined
·
3,841 Posts
It is entirely possible that those horns aren't being used because someone, at some point, realized what they're worth and put them away so your bandmates wouldn't destroy them. This is NOT uncommon.

So, if you really value the music program and want it to expand, then perhaps you might think about this in terms of what you can do to help that happen. Since most high school kids don't have a whole lot of disposable income (I sure didn't), this could be a way you could help endow your program for the kids who follow in your footsteps, but using your expertise instead of cash.

How to go about it? You might start by printing out this thread and showing it to your band teacher. Believe me when I say that nobody understands economic pressures like someone who teaches the arts. If selling one of those vintage saxes could buy your school 10 completely-adequate student horns, it's probably not a difficult decision, especially when you consider the abuse school band instruments endure. Band teachers (or their administrators) know how to handle surplus property sales, and by bringing their attention to the issue (remember to include lots of numbers... when they're talking about budgets with the people in the district office, it's all about the numbers), you might end up helping many more students get involved in the band after you're in college.

Finally, if you're handy with the computer and really want to see your band's money go as far as possible, spend a little time researching possible replacements and their costs. One sad reality of a high-school band teacher's life is that they don't actually *have* much of one during the year because they're devoting most of it to your band. So if you provided a well-researched list of alternatives (come on back and we can help point you in the right direction on these), it could further help your teacher, and the students who follow you, make the most of your discovery.

Either way, good luck, and I commend you on wanting to do the right thing by your band. :mrgreen:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
It really would be a win, win situation. He finds a VI for himself and gets it out of harms way and the music department would be able to buy utilizable equipment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
I'm new to this forum, but definately not to playing sax, flute clarinet...etc. I played professionally for 10 years from the time I was 18 unti I was 29. I had to post here because I am very close friends with local band directors in the high school and university level. I've also "been there" and it's not a fun job! I would definitly print out this forum, both Gbrute and Sprite. You have an opportunity to help musical education which is totally in the bag financially. If you know of VI's, Kings or other higher end horns that are shelved or out where they can be stolen, do what Bari Sax Diva says.

When I taught sax at the University level I had the job of inventory of beautiful horns. VI's, Super 20's, Silversonics in all styles. This was back when Yamaha was just coming into the American market and weren't worth my student's time. Obviously I'm old as the tale is much different now! I had to lock the storage room and any student that needed a horn had to fill out a rental agreement with the serial number and also pay an insurance fee. If a student got rough with one and banged them into stands and didn't clean them it was their A**. I kicked more than one player out of the program for tryng to "beat the system". I had an independent auditor from the business school over on a bi-monthly basis to make sure the inventory was correct and to help arrange financing for a contracted repair tech to work on suspect horns. This was then reported to the Dean of the music school. Fortunately I didn't lose one.

These days band directors are in a quagmire of work with ever decreasing budgets. Mark VI's, Yamaha's, Cannonballs, Barones don't belong getting wet in outdoor conditions. Because of the ridiculously high price of VI's and Kings you might be able to find a dealer that would work with your band program and pay decent money for them. If you can prove a savings they will most likely be interested. The horns you mentioned are most likely beat to hell and need a rebuild. Band directors, as mentioned above, have to go through the school purchasing program and they DO dispose of horns that could be repaired and put into the hands of a great player. Do the spread sheets and don't be reticent about asking for help. VI's Kings and some of the high end Yamaha's out there are bringing insane prices once they are re-built. You can be real assets to your schools and band programs by bringing this up with them. I heartily agree with everthing that's been said here. It's a damned shame that vintage pro-horns are thrown into marching bands. Just my opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
It's a damned shame that vintage pro-horns are thrown into marching bands
All the ato, tenor and baritone saxophones owned and used by the British Royal Marine Band Service are Selmer Mk VIs !!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
I'm positive, Peter, that the British Royal Marines take more than fine care of their equipment. As one of the free worlds finest fighting forces with discipline rivaling anything in the United States Military, I'm sure they take care of things with all the pride and honor that comprises that most auspicious service. Semper Fi!
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top