New Mexico high school band equipment stolen before competition; loss tops $200K

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – A box truck with more than $200,000 worth of band equipment belonging to the Las Cruces High School Showcase band was stolen in Albuquerque ahead of the band’s competition Saturday

“As soon as we heard the news, everything froze and our hearts dropped,” Lorraine Leachman, LCHS Showcase Band Fundraising Chair, says. “These kids have worked tirelessly, dedicating themselves to their passion for music and each other; to imagine all that effort, stolen from the kids, was utterly heartbreaking.”

Band members and parents heard of the news as they were boarding a bus in Las Cruces, headed for Albuquerque for the competition.

One parent, Heather Doolittle, says her daughter is the color guard captain and that the color guard’s flags were inside the truck that was stolen.

“She was really disappointed that those flags that they had practiced with were not going to be available. They did find others and they used some substitutions during the show but it wasn’t the ones they practiced with,” said Doolittle.

Those substitutions came from the New Mexico State University Marching Band, making sure the students had everything they needed to perform. In addition, the University of New Mexico Marching band and other high schools offered help to the Las Cruces High School Students.

“The performance must go on…the outpouring of support has been incredibly touching. I’m so proud of how the students have encouraged each other, despite the challenge this morning presented and put on a magnificent show!”

Ty Frederick, LCHS Band Director

Despite the challenges, parents tell KTSM 9 News that the Las Cruces High School Showcase band placed fourth in the competition and are headed to the finals.

The Las Cruces High School Showcase band board says band members fundraise for their equipment. The band asking for community help to replace the stolen equipment.

A link can be found at the Las Cruces High School Showcase band website or you can contact lchsbulldawgband@gmail.com.

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