There is still time to apply for American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funds to use at your school for music education needs. As of March, all $122 billion of ARP ESSER funds had been made available to schools nationwide.

Wenger Corporation has been working with school administrators and music teachers to help them determine ways to elevate their music education programs by using these valuable funds. Here are some of the items music teachers procured.


Doug Armstrong, Music Teacher
Middlesex High School: Saluda, Virginia

Purchase: Instrument storage

Why: We needed a better solution for instrument storage to allow more space for social distancing. Our previous storage consisted of a couple of closets with open shelves along with a small, cramped storage room. This caused severe crowding of students at the beginning and end of each class and made it challenging to maintain safe distancing.

How we received the funds: The requests were included in our school division’s overall ESSER grant application that was submitted to the Virginia Department of Education. Once that application was approved at the state level, I was able to follow our standard purchasing and requisition protocols to purchase the items we needed.

How we heard about the funds: From our school division’s leadership team.

Was Wenger helpful in the process?
Yes, the detailed information provided by my Wenger representative gave me all of the information I needed to accurately measure and plan the installation of the cabinets we needed in the spaces we had available within the room.

Lauren Walter, Choir Director
Parkland School: McHenry, IL

Purchase: Eight Legacy Classic portable acoustical shells

Why: Shells are a large, once in a lifetime purchase, so this was the time to ask. Our choir program had added Wenger equipment little by little over the last 15 years, but this was by far our largest request. The sound shells are a tool to help project the sound of the performers and with the smaller group size due to Covid, we need all the help we can get to make these children heard.

How we received the funds: I submitted a proposal to our central office administration outlining how the ESSER funds can be used for this large purchase. After getting approval, which took several months, the sound shells were ordered using a P.O. There is no formal system through the school for ESSER funds.

How we heard about the funds: Articles shared on the choir and band director Facebook pages.

Was Wenger helpful in the process?
My Wenger representative was very helpful in the early stages of the process. I was able to get quotes for three different styles of sound shells. I outlined in my proposal which one I would prefer, listed the benefits for each style and, ultimately, I got exactly what I wanted. I used pictures on Wenger’s website to show the differences between products in my proposal.

Matthew Sbalcio, Assistant Director of Bands
New Britain High School: New Britain CT

Purchase: New chairs, stands, choral risers, GearBoss storage solutions and library organizational units. (We also used funds for new instruments including tubas, saxophones, baritones, violas, and violins.)

Why: We needed to replace old equipment and purchase storage equipment.

How we received the funds: We requested the equipment from the district office, and they chose to apply for ESSER funds.

Was Wenger helpful in the process? Wenger helped me determine what GearBoss storage equipment would work for us.

Other schools reported buying the following with ESSER funds:
• Active acoustic equipment
• Choral risers
• Chairs and stands
• Staging systems
• Elementary classroom items
• Conductor’s equipment
• Teaching tools
• Theatre products

Learn more about how to apply for federal funds at