Local Middle Schools Receive Donation Of Band Instruments

Not even a sour note can silence the song in the hearts of music students and teachers at D'Iberville Middle School.

"I'm overwhelmed," says D'Iberville Middle School Band Director Erika Reed Branch. "I don't know what to say about it. I'm very excited we've gotten this much help. I expected a handful, not this."

82 instruments, 85 boxes of sheet music, and 3 full sets of band uniforms collected by the Kappa Kappa Psi band fraternity at James Madison University in Harrisonburg Virginia are being donated to the middle school band programs at D'Iberville and St. Martin.

"I never imagined it would bloom into this," Claire Bennefeld, Vice President of Service for Kappa Kappa Psi. "And Sara was a grad student at J.M.U., and she was like it would be really neat to take it down to Mississippi."

Sara Golden is a Tupelo native who knew that South Mississippi band programs needed a lot of help to get back on the march.

"I think we figured it out that the instruments alone to replenish I think would be something around 30 thousand," says Golden.

And she says it wasn't hard finding help from her Virginia classmates.

"Everybody heard and saw on the television what happened with Katrina and just to know that these kids are completely without it and nothing has been done to replenish them. This is just something we could do to help them out to bring music back to them."

Branch who lost half her beginning band students after the storm is confident this new opportunity will bring them back as well.

"With these donated instruments, hopefully we'll be able to get even more in the program this year."