Banding together to gather instruments in Bladen County
Bladen County band directors are asking for the public’s help. They need old instruments for children who can’t afford to be in band.
The building housing Elizabethtown Middle School used to be East Bladen High School. Back in the early seventies, they had one of the best band programs in the country.
“Out of a population of about four or five hundred students, you’d have over 100 in the band. If you look around now you don’t see that many seats in here, and what we’re trying to do is re-establish bands in Bladen County,” said Elizabethtown Middle School Principal Ray Crabtree.
That’s why Elizabethtown Middle School band director John Hudson started a county-wide program called LINKS. It stands for ‘lonely instruments for needy kids’.
“I have so many students who come in and they’d like to be in the band, and their parents just can’t afford to buy them an instrument. And I think that it’s important that every student who wants to have that opportunity, should have that opportunity,” Hudson said.
Hudson was given a loaner trumpet when he was a kid. It inspired his love for music, and made him want to do the same for other children.
Donated instruments will be sanitized, refurbished, and given to Bladen County middle schoolers who can’t buy their own.
Six instruments have been donated so far; two trumpets, two trombones, a clarinet, and a flute.
Band directors are also accepting monetary donations to repair old instruments that are donated. “We want to see a resurgence of bands in Bladen County, back to the days it used to be,” Crabtree said.
Donors will receive a receipt for a tax deduction; if interested in donating, call LINKS Chairman John Hudson, the band director, at 910-862-4107 or 910-862-2234.
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