Big surprise comes to Bay High Marching Band

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - Christmas came early for the Bay High Tiger Pride Marching Band, in the form of $25,000 worth of brand new musical instruments.

The students could hardly believe their eyes.

"It made me want to jump up and down like a little kid," said 11th Grade Student Auston Torres.

His fellow band member Jesse Bourgeois echoed his words. "I was like wow! It's just an incredible feeling to have all of these new drums."

They wasted no time testing out the new equipment donated by Pyramis Global Advisors.

"It's part of our charter to encourage the arts to reinvest back into our community. We had heard about what they were working with as far as instruments a lot of them were in disrepair, dilapidated, and the fact that they've done so well without the proper instruments is a real testament to them and the teachers," said Branka.

The students and instructors said this surprise donation could not have come at a better time.

Most of the instruments the students used were hand me downs donated to the school after Hurricane Katrina.

"The last equipment we had to worry about rusty stuff and the tuning was off. Now we've got this new equipment and it's just excellent," said Bourgeois.

Al Gunch, Assistant Band Director weighed in. "The drums that we're currently using, I personally painted them last year because the paint was chipping off."

Thanks to this generous donation, those days are gone.

"I think it's a miracle that someone that kind and that generous would donate something to us, especially a little town here in Bay St. Louis," said 10th Grade Student, Tyler Predergast.

Band Director, Catchie Crider agreed. "This has shown our students that people out there do care, they care about us they care about Bay High and they care about music and the curriculum. I've told these people a hundred thousand times tonight, thank you so much."

Through the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, Pyramis has donated more than 1700 new instruments valued at more than $2 million to many schools across the nation.