Band Returns Home After Theft of Instruments in Florida

NEW MILFORD TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Members of the Blue Ridge High School band are home after a trip to Florida that saw them lose all their musical instruments to thieves.

For Cassidy Howe, the thought of playing her flute at the college level in Florida filled the Blue Ridge High School student with excitement. The sophomore and the rest of the students at the high school in Susquehanna County say that excitement turned into disappointment when the band equipment inside a locked trailer was stolen during their trip.

"It is ignorant," Howe said. "Maybe they didn't know. They probably did not know what was in the trailer, but it is heartbreaking to us."

"Everyone was texting me that day saying you know that they were stolen, and I was like that they are not stolen, that is a rumor, and they were stolen at the end," said sophomore Connor Mills.

For the high school students, this trip was an opportunity to learn from college educators at the University of Central Florida near Orlando, one that only happens every other year.

School officials say more than 40 instruments were stored in a motorcycle trailer that was attached to a truck. All of it was stolen.

All of this happened before the band could even have a chance to perform.

"It was tragic because the next day we were supposed to be at a clinic working with college professors and everything, and we didn't get to have that experience," said Mills.

This is the fourth time band director Vincent Lorusso has taken students to Florida, never experiencing anything like this.

"The message to the students was there are more good people than bad people, and we tried to focus on that and enjoy the rest of our trip," said Lorusso.

To help the students get back on their feet, the community and a local music store have donated instruments.

"It speaks to how wonderful our community is and how supportive of the arts there are."

School officials tell us they still haven't received any updates from Florida on where that stolen band equipment may have ended up.

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