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Matthew Moynihan helps restores Hastings schools' band stands

Matthew Moynihan was busy during his holiday break painting more than 175 band stands from Hastings High School and Hastings Middle School as part of his Eagle Scout project. (Star Gazette photo by Jane Lightbourn)

The freshly painted band stands in the senior high school's auto mechanic room looked brand new. More were in the process of being painted, and another 60 from the nearby band room were about to be rolled into the room last Thursday afternoon.

Hastings Boy Scout Troop 503 member Matthew Moynihan was doing his share of painting too, but he was also in charge of the project.

The painting of the 175 band stands from the high school and middle school was Moynihan's Eagle Scout badge project, scouting highest achievement.

The project has been under way since October, said Moynihan. That's when he began looking for his contribution to the community.

"It has to be one where leadership is shown," he said. "It also has to be a project done for the community or a nonprofit."

This project was suggested when Moynihan's parents, Shawn and Annette, went to the high school's open house this fall and were talking to the band director Duane Oldham. He said the stands need some restoration. The middle school's probably needed some repainting as well, he said.

Matthew liked the idea.

"Some looked so bad," he said. Some also needed some minor mechanical repair.

Would the project be enough to fulfill the badge requirement? With the middle schools stands, the review panel for the Boy Scouts approved the project.

The holiday break was the time frame, and the auto mechanical room (where painting is done for other projects) was the location. Moynihan lined up his workers in different morning and afternoon shifts. Middle school personnel delivered that school's stands to the high school. His father, who is the troop leader, also helped with the stenciling of the stands

Some of the stands had to be scraped free of gum and sticker residue. Then a special black spray paint, with both primer and base, was used to paint the stands. The school supplied 75 cans of paint.

Oldham, who Moynihan said is ecstatic about the project, suggested that the stencils could be an added touch.

"I think they look classy and nice," said Moynihan.

It was a good project, too, he added.

"I think it shows what the Boy Scouts are about," he said. "We are learning values and leadership and it is about giving back."

Moynihan has been in Scouting since 2003 and Boy Scouts since 2008. His brothers, John and Tom, have also been active members of the troop.

"I got into it because I thought it would be fun," said Moynihan. "I haven't had any regrets."

A sophomore at Hastings High School, Moynihan will have the opportunity to use one of the "new" stands when classes resume this week -- he plays bass clarinet in band.