Jamestown PROMISE Fund to Hold Musical Instrument Drive

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Jamestown Public Schools

The Jamestown PROMISE Fund, in collaboration with the JPS Music Department and the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, will hold its first Musical Instrument Drive on Saturday, September 8th at Jamestown High School from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Jamestown PROMISE Fund Advisory Board is asking the community to search their attics, closets and basements for musical instruments, new or used, to donate to help more Jamestown students continue the wonderful tradition of music in the district.

“We know that over a number of years the school budget has not allowed for the regular maintenance and repair of instruments, or the routine addition of all the needed new ones. The total financial need is quite significant if the gap is to be filled,” said Dr. Lillian Ney, Vice Chair of the PROMISE Fund Board, and Coordinator of the Drive. John Zabrodsky, Board Chair adds “Music is part of the fabric of our community. In support of this great tradition of players and singers, we are asking friends, alumni and the community to help us gather musical instruments that may be taking up room in a closet or attic, so that our next generation can have the opportunity to participate in JPS’s great educational and musical programming.”

Volunteers will be available on September 8th to accept the community’s donations of musical instruments and monetary donations. Checks can be made out to the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation with the memo line JPS PROMISE Fund.

“The JPS music programs provide an invaluable opportunity for our students,” said Meghan Murray, JHS Band Director. “It is our hope that this Community Instrument Drive might help provide instruments for students who may not otherwise be able to rent or buy, and thus are unable to join band or orchestra due to financial reasons.”

Jamestown students also appreciate the role music plays in their lives.

“We have been in the music programs since elementary and middle school,” said JHS seniors Ellen Cross and Natalie Carlson, who are involved in the JHS Marching Band, Concert Band, Concert Orchestra and A Cappella Choir. “Music is so important to us and to a lot of other students. Music creates relationships between kids and between kids and their directors and other adults. Music helps develop different ways of understanding, which elevates their thinking skills and academics overall.”

“Our students have a greater need than ever for the support of our schools and our community,” said Katie Derrenbacher, JHS Orchestra Director. “As music teachers, we focus on developing the right brain to balance the rigorous left brain work that occurs during the school day. Our students need the opportunity for creativity and development of their whole brain in order to help shape the whole child. Since the burden of purchasing or even renting can exclude the child from participating, we need our schools and community to step in and make this opportunity a real possibility for them.”