SPRING LAKE, Mich. -- Playing in the band is a big part of the middle school experience for many students, but it's how parents find the students' instruments that is sparking a debate in Spring Lake.
The owner of West Michigan Band Instruments in Grand Rapids wants Spring Lake Schools to allow more competition to cater to students at their yearly band event. Normally, Meyer's Music is the only one allowed to attend.
The debate led the superintendent to make Thursday's event vendor free, and only allow brochures.
"There's a lot of good stores here in the area," said David Didaskalou, owner of West Michigan Band Instruments. "We are one of them, and we're just here to get that fair chance."
At the event, the band director explains the program to parents and students, and lets a vendor or vendors make their pitch for the last few minutes.
Didaskalou says he feels his band equipment is as good as any. He says there's been an issue for a number of years that Meyer's Music has had the exclusive right to be the only store allowed at the event.
"We're just here to fight for the parents, to be able to get a fair shot," Didaskalou said. "To have pricing differentials and let them choose where they want to rent an instrument from."
Spring Lake Superintendent Dennis Furton decided to make it a vendor free night and pass out brochures from both Meyer Music and West Michigan Music.