By Mariama Tyler Jenkins
Several Luther Judson Price Wildcat band students at APS Price Middle School can now practice their music at home thanks to the Gift of Music Foundation. Price band director and its Teacher of the Year, Ms. Tara Byrdsong, received three clarinets and two flutes from Scott Monroe, founder and executive director of The Gift of Music Foundation on October 21. Price Middle School is the first school to receive instruments from the newly formed foundation, which has as part of its mission— “to ensure that a lack of resources never prevents a young musician from participating in a music program and its many positive life lessons and benefits.”
Byrdsong was introduced to The Gift of Music Foundation by Jim Schmelzer of Big Note —a band equipment repair company. Following that introduction, Monroe selected Price to receive the instruments after looking at several area schools and determining that Price seemed to have the highest need for new equipment.
Scott Keefer and Chris Monroe of the Gift of Music Foundation were on hand to gift the instruments to Byrdsong and several students after school. This is the first set of instruments from The Gift of Music Foundation, but students can expect more to come soon. Monroe believes that “performance is the goal” in a music program and he hopes to help more students be able to perform because of the donations.
Assistant Principal Schredrick Austin was on hand to thank the contributors for their generous gift. Wildcat Band Director Byrdsong stated, “With this contribution, more students will be equipped with a personal instrument for home study.” The students present for the afterschool practice wondered when they would be able to use the newly donated instruments.
Thanks to this donation, students will be able to take home instruments so that they can practice for their winter concert coming up on Thursday, Dec. 3. We can’t wait to hear what Ms. Byrdsong and her Wildcats have planned. I’m sure it will be purrrrfect.
If you have instruments gathering dust in your basement, please consider donating to The Gift of Music Foundation, the organization that offers afterschool band programming will also repair and reclaim old instruments and donate them to young musicians in need.
Special thanks to Ms. Tammy Rosado, media specialist at Price Middle School, for submitting this story.