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Let’s Band Together!

Let's band together

The Arts Council of Northeast Louisiana is hosting a musical instrument drive, “Let’s Band Together!”

Anyone with a new or used musical instrument is encouraged to donate it to the Arts Council’s drive. The instruments collected will benefit band programs in participating high schools in the Monroe City and Ouachita Parish school systems.

“I loved playing clarinet in high school. I learned how to play an instrument, but I also learned how to work as part of a team, how to improvise, and how to problem solve,” said President/CEO Barry C. Stevens. “Generally speaking, band programs are vastly underfunded. Kids who want to play in the band need access to instruments, and the Arts Council is trying to help.”

Arts Council board member Debora Colvin was inspired to start Let’s Band Together! after hearing a story about a boy in a local high school marching band. He could not afford his own instrument, so he borrowed a school instrument. Due to lack of repairs, he had to take three pieces of three separate flutes and engineer them together to create one flute.

“His will and determination to study the arts inspired me, and made me realize that too many of us take arts education for granted,” Colvin said. “How many of us have an old saxophone or trumpet in the closet? If you haven’t picked it up in a few years, why not give the gift of music to a local student who might not have the chance to be in the marching band otherwise?”

Instruments will be inspected and repaired by Matt’s Music, and stored at a climate-controlled unit donated by MidCity Storage. Instruments will be donated to band programs based on need and impact, as indicated by participating band directors.

Anyone wishing to donate may drop off their instrument at the Main Branch Library, Ouachita Valley Branch Library, or Matt’s Music until August 17.

For questions, call 318.397.6717.

Main Branch Library
1800 Stubbs Avenue
Monroe, LA 71201

Matt’s Music
3996 Breard Street
Monroe, LA 71201

Ouachita Valley Branch Library
601 McMillan Road
West Monroe, LA 71291

Student Stories

Isaiah Jones

“The band did the best with what instruments we had. Even though they were in disrepair, our band directors would pay out of their pockets to fix them.” Read more.

DJ Johnson

“I’ve been singing most of my life. My momma said when she used to sing in the choir, she could feel me jumping in her stomach when she was pregnant with me.” Read more.

Camryn Price

“The best thing about art in general is that you have a chance to express yourself, and no one can really say anything different.” Read more.

Arts Teachers' Wish Lists

Don't have a musical instrument, but still want to help out? Buy items off our arts teachers' wish lists today. Teachers are in need of everything from sheet music to easels.

Rural Arts Education Research

9,922 students in rural public schools in northeast Louisiana don't have access to arts education. Learn more about how parishes compare, and what you can do to make arts more accessible.

Let's Band Together poster
Mid City Storage logo
Thanks to Mid City Storage for donating a climate-controlled storage facility for the Arts Council to use while instruments are waiting to be repaired!