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'Play it Forward' to help a Boy Scout save his high school band

The La Costa Canyon Drum Major is organizing a musical instrument drive to help students in need.

CARLSBAD, Calif. — When a problem needs to be fixed, leave it to a Boy Scout to jump into action. In this Zevely Zone I visited Carlsbad where a high school senior is hoping the community can band together.  

If you are someone with an old instrument gathering dust, a Boy Scout needs your help. "These are all tubas that will basically not work at all," said Ian West. The high school senior gave us a tour of the band room at La Costa Canyon High School that is filled with bruised and broken instruments. "This one might be playable," said Ian while holding an old flute. "A lot of the keys are actually eroded," said Ian while holding a saxophone that only plays two notes.  

Credit: CBS 8

Ian is the Drum Major of a band he says should have more than 100 students. Instead, La Costa Canyon's Marching Band has 19 members.  

A struggling music program is a sad song we've heard before, but Ian has plan. He's a lifelong Cub Scout and Boy Scout from Troop 777. "You have to be prepared, that is the biggest thing," said Ian. I asked Ian if his band was prepared for the future after he graduates. "No, it's not prepared at all. Sadly," said Ian.  

Credit: Ian West

"I just want the students to have what they need to play," said Charles Mekealian. He is the school's band director in his first year. Mr. Mekealian has three trumpet players but only one trumpet. "Yeah, three trumpet players, one trumpet," said Mr. Mekealian who is loaning his own instrument to a student in need. 

Credit: CBS 8

Mr. Mekealian served in the Marine Corps and knows a leader when he sees one in Ian. "He's trying to make sure that the future of this program looks good," said Mr. Mekealian.

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The band room's shelves are mostly bare and look more like a graveyard for instruments. "Yes sir, it is completely broken right now," said Ian. 

Ian's Eagle Scout project is called Play it Forward. He hopes to save his own band and has marching orders for all San Diegans. Ian is organizing an instrument donation drive. The instruments will be given to away to students who are underserved across San Diego County.  "Yes. I feel that is my responsibility as someone who really cares about music," said Ian.

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Donations will be available to all students in San Diego County who can't afford their own instrument. Sometimes when you lead a band, you need more than just a fight song, you need Boy Scout to fight for others. "It's more than just band, it's the gift of music. I am going to feel so satisfied to be able to give to people who need music in their lives. I want to make sure that everyone gets that," said Ian.  

Scout's honor.

If you'd like to donate to La Costa Canyon High School band, click here. Ian says he is desperately asking for your help. If you own a music instrument, you'd like to donate contact Ian directly by calling (760) 798-5421 or emailing him at ianrwest2112@gmail.com or call Lisa West, his mother, at (760) 277-9334.

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