West Harrison High School band receives $30,000 donation
Band students at West Harrison High School will be playing to a sweeter tune after today. More than $30,000 worth of new percussion instruments and marching French horns were donated to help further the program’s success.
The West Harrison High School band is nearly nine months out from performing in the 2020 Rose Bowl Parade and these new instruments will bring them a note higher come New Year’s Day. Band Director Tim Garrett said, “We were very stunned. With good equipment, I feel like a lot of times it is going to really help the students achieve on a higher level.”
The one who facilitated this donation, Ayatey Shabeazz was the percussion director for a number of years at West Harrison. Now, they play the music his company composes so helping out the program was a given. “It is really near and dear to my heart for a school system that has given so much to me as far as giving me an opportunity to write and create and also be around these fantastic kids for so many years to be able to give something back was just a no-brainer.”
The students are just as excited, especially senior percussionist Sean Lee. “It’s exciting. For four years we were using really beat up ones and we got these new ones from Yamaha and it’s just a thousand steps up from what we were using before. It really makes life a whole lot easier.”
This investment doesn’t just bring better instruments for the students, but a better sense of the importance of their musical education with every note that is played. That’s just what Yamaha wanted to do with this donation, inspire and drive the students to sharpen their musical minds. Yamaha District Manager Scott Slocum said, “There is nothing like seeing a kid’s eyes when they get a brand new instrument and put it up for the first time. I’ve always seen that to inspire the child to practice more to play more and hopefully to carry it on after they get out of school. So, that just goes right along with what we are trying to do here is give them the best tools that they can.”
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