WHIP whips up opportunities for WHHS music students


Isabel Nissley

Instruments stand, unused, during the summer months at WHHS. Rentable instruments and other aspects of WHHS’ music department are funded in part by Walnut Hills Instrumental Parents (WHIP).

WHIP, or Walnut Hills Instrumental Parents, according to the WHHS website, is a “fun and dedicated bunch of folks, committed to supporting and supplementing the awesome things that go on in our music department here at WHHS.” 

WHIP helps to not only organize concerts and other events in the music department, but also holds fundraising events, which provide money for sheet music, concert wear, rentable instruments, and more. All of these supplies are vital for the success of students in the music department.  

The head of WHHS’ music department, John Caliguri, provides WHIP’s members with insight into the school.

“I’m the department head, but the teachers go to the meetings… we’re not really members of WHIP, but I go to every meeting, I bring department news, [and] I’m involved in discussions,” Caliguri said.

“So besides our fundraisers, which the students do, the parents organize different things,” Caliguri said. Although WHIP’s focus is on serving the students within the walls of WHHS, some of the fundraisers occur outside of the school. They “ran a booth at Walnut Fest” and host other events at parents’ houses.

According to Caliguri, each year, WHIP puts together “about three fund raising events that are strictly [for] the music department, but we’re also involved in Walnut Fest.”

“Every parent who has a music student is a member of WHIP…at a general meeting, that we have monthly, we have anywhere from 12 to 16 parents and teachers… but then at our concerts, parents, not just the people who come to the meetings, are also volunteers,” Caliguri said.

The parents help WHIP’s fundraising efforts run smoothly. “They are a very important part of the concert as far as the organization of it… Amy Forrester is our department secretary and she makes all of our programs and sets up all of the signs in the hallway; without Amy Forrester, we would be in trouble,” Caliguri said.

But how can WHHS parents who aren’t already coming to meetings get involved in WHIP?

“We send out a newsletter twice a month [for people on] the email list… and there we ask for volunteers [for] concerts, or concerts captains. Or, if we need parents in to collect fundraising packets, or if we need help at Walnut Fest, we have parents who volunteer for that. It’s all pretty much through our newsletter or through emails,” Caliguri said.