Mississippi Community Symphonic Band/Mississippi Swing! Big Band with Jackson Public Schools, Madison County Schools, Yazoo City Municipal School District - Community collections of band instruments for middle schools to loan to students

Students impacted: 150-175 band and instrumental students
Duration of partnership: 1 year

Beginning in June 2015, as part of its tenth anniversary celebration, the Mississippi Community Symphonic Band’s all-volunteer big band, Mississippi Swing!, launched a used musical instrument drive to benefit local middle school band programs. The goal was to collect instruments that schools could use as loaners to families that could not afford to rent or purchase musical instruments for their children. Throughout the summer, used musical instruments were collected, inventoried, tested, cleaned and repaired. 

The drive resulted in the collection of more than 40 musical instruments valued at over $7,000. Schools receiving instruments in Jackson were Rowan Middle School, Brinkley Middle School, Power APAC and Bailey APAC Middle School; as well as Olde Towne Middle School in Madison County and Woodfolk Middle School in Yazoo City. With donations continuing, a second distribution is being planned for spring 2016. 

Activities:
• Collected used but playable musical instruments by soliciting donations through the community band’s extensive email database of local musicians, social media, ads in church bulletins, website promotions and announcements at band rehearsals and MCSB concerts
• Kickoff celebration at start of school year to distribute instruments
• Honored middle school band directors for their contributions to music education and recognized community partners

Impacts:
• As of Jan. 2016, collected more than 40 musical instruments valued at $7,000+
• Increased student participation in instrumental music 
• Overwhelming majority of donated instruments are in use
• Some instruments also being used for demonstrations by science teachers
• Musicians expressed joy in knowing their instruments would be used and appreciated by future generations