Instruments Donated

For almost seven years, Roy Brookshire from Richland has been helping provide instruments for schools throughout the state. He says he felt led to pursue this effort after watching one grade school band in a parade.

"It was Blackburn Junior High and as they marched there were 23 students and 19 instruments and I saw the students sharing instruments. I had just bought some 5 or six instruments from a church garage sale, so I gave them to the school. I thought the donation was all about the children, but I felt so good that I just kept doing it," said Brookshire.

However, with instruments new and used costing on average from $400 to $1,500, Brookshire says many parents cannot afford to buy them.

"In South Leake where I was last, they couldn't even afford to rent instruments at $5 or $6 a month," Brookshire said.

Carver band director Sabina Ivy estimates that over the years, close to 70 students have had to get out of band because they did not have an instrument.

"It breaks your heart," said Ivy.

According to research, band students are often not only better in math, but better overall students in the classroom. With this in mind, Carver principal Robert Markham says the school will continue to promote the band program.

"You never know who you can help. Look at Elvis and B.B. King. they both studied music in school, " said Mr. Markham.

With today's donation and others from the community, so far 25 instruments have been donated to Carver. Aside from the 11 he donated Friday, Brookshire says he plans to send another 16 instruments to the school. In the future he says he also hopes to work out a deal which would provide some of the more expensive instruments such as tubas for the program.

Meanwhile, aside from the instruments, generous donors have also given almost $7,000 to help in the effort. Helping further ensure that Carver students can continue to make beautiful music for years to come.