FORT WORTH -- After being lost for decades, the herald trumpets that led the renowned Polytechnic High School Marching 100 band are headed back to the campus.Just days before the school welcomes about 2,000 alumni and former staffers for its first all-class reunion Saturday, seven vintage herald trumpets are being donated to the school. The centennial event will commemorate Poly High's first graduating class, in 1912.The original eight trumpets, measuring about 5 feet, were bought by band boosters starting in 1956 and are believed to have been used until the mid-1970s.Joseph Veanueva, a former Western Hills High School assistant band director, said he was cleaning out a campus band hall storage room in 2002 when he happened upon seven "very dirty rectangular" instrument cases.Veanueva said he pulled the cases out and discovered the herald trumpets inside. They were in poor condition and were not playable, he said.The head band director told Veanueva to put the horns in the school's Dumpster. But when Veanueva responded with a shocked look, his boss said he could keep the instruments.Veanueva took them home and spent several months repairing, cleaning, oiling and polishing the horns, made from an alloy of brass, nickel, silver and copper.Five have been restored into playing condition, said Veanueva, the current band director at the Applied Learning Academy.After reading a news release about Poly High's reunion, Veanueva contacted the organizers and offered to donate the herald trumpets."They belong more to Poly Tech than me," he wrote in a letter. "I'm happy I could surprise you. I love history and I love music. I could never allow any instrument to hit the dumpster."Veanueva said it's hard to put a price on the herald trumpets. New ones go for about $2,000, but vintage instruments are prized for their rich sound."They were put together by craftsmen, not by an assembly line," he said. "But it's the sentimental value of it as part of Poly High School's history that makes them important."On Saturday, a former trumpet carrier will be part of a 90-minute Centennial Memories Program, and an alumni trumpet player will demonstrate one of the vintage trumpets.Jessamy Brown, 817-390-7326
Reunion open to all former students, staffers, faculty members and administrators
Free. No reservations needed.
Sign-in starts at noon; event is 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday.
Memories program: 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.
Parking info and schedule: www.polyalumni.org
Source: Poly Alumni Association