Musical instruments disappearing from campus

by Vania Quiroz

Recent thefts have left band members without their instruments.The stolen instruments were worth more than $5,000.

The instruments were taken from the band room in the AmyRobertson Music Center. Michael Duke, instructor of music, said thethefts occurred because the room’s security system wasinactive.

“[This security system] is very similar to the one that’sinstalled in the dorms,” Duke said. “Only authorized people can getinto the band room. The problem was that it wasn’t activated untilnow.”

There were no official lists of who needed entrance to the bandroom, so the security system wasn’t activated until a few days agowhen the lists were completed.

Among the stolen instruments were four alto saxophones and atrumpet. Three of the saxophones were being rented from a musicstore and were worth around $600 each.

The other saxophone and the trumpet belonged to juniors BenThompson and Megan Hoover.

For Thompson, who spent $3,300 on his Selmer Super Action 80Series III saxophone, the theft has become one of the saddestepisodes of his life.

“At first, I thought it was a joke, but then I started askingeveryone, and they had no idea what I was talking about,” Thompsonsaid. “It may be just a saxophone [to most people], but for asaxophone major it’s something more. That’s the reason I’m comingto school – to play saxophone and to teach.”

Thompson reported the theft to the security office, and securityfiled the official police report.

Director of Security Chris Frerichs said that Simpson willfollow up on the incident.

“If it’s found to be someone affiliated with Simpson, [thecollege] will take appropriate measures whomever they may be – anemployee or a student,” Frerichs said. “There are procedures thatare in place that the school will follow in addition to theprocedures of the police.”

Fortunately for Thompson, his family’s insurance will becovering the theft.

Although it is an expensive lesson, Professor of Music MariaDiPalma hopes these incidents will make students more careful.

“Many Simpson students, because they’re from small Iowa towns,are not fully aware of the possibility that their belongings can bestolen,” DiPalma said. “Maybe this is a wake-up call for them.Indianola is part of the world, and with that comes the good andthe bad.”

Thompson sees the experience as far more than the theft of anexpensive musical instrument.

“For a vocalist it’d be like stealing your voice if you’re aperforming major,” Thompson said. “Monday, I walked around and itwas like somebody reached into my heart and stole my soul.”