Dunwoody High School Band Director William Henderson is asking the community for help to keep the band marching.

With more than 100 students expected in the marching band next year and barely enough instruments to cover the 75 students currently participating, something had to be done.

So the band has created a website, www.just50from1000.org, with the goal of raising $50,000 before August to outfit the program with enough instruments to give every student interested an opportunity to participate.

“We are reaching out to the community to help us solve our severe shortage of instruments,” Henderson said. “In the past couple of years the band has had some really great, explosive growth. The second factor is that unfortunately, many of the school-owned instruments date back to 1972 and are unplayable.”

The larger instruments are very costly, with the average sousaphone going for $5,000 and timpani drums costing around $10,000.

Henderson said while DeKalb County has been very supportive of music education, budget shortfalls have made it necessary for the band to be creative to find the money it needs to purchase new instruments.

Henderson said the approach is to raise the funds in manageable pieces: $50 from 1,000 people.

“We’re asking for everybody, if possible, to donate something. We’ll graciously accept any donations,” Henderson said. “We’re also asking people to spread the word. The more people hear about it, the better chance we have of reaching our goal.”