Southern Stars Symphonic Brass and Fairfield Glade Rotary Club initiated the LINKS project over the past two weekends. LINKS stands for Lonely Instruments for Needy Kids, and is a unique program to collect donated instruments from the public, then have them will be repaired, then given to the Cumberland County school system. The school instrumental music programs will then loan these instruments to students whose families can not afford to rent or purchase an instrument which will give their child the opportunity to enjoy learning to play and participate in a music ensemble.
Two different collection dates have resulted in a total of 35 instruments being donated. This was a tremendous outpouring from the community and will be a real plus and joy to a number of needy students in our county. Here is what was donated during this inaugural LINKS drive: a Baldwin spinet piano, two trombones, eight trumpets, one flute, four clarinets, one baritone sax, drumsticks and brushes, seven acoustic guitars, one ukulele, one mandolin, six violins, and two Yamaha 66 keyboard pianos.
Rush's Music Stores in Knoxville have begun the repair and refurbishing of the band instruments to have them available for donation to the Cumberland County School System's instrumental music programs when the second semester begins in January. The piano and keyboards will be used at one of the schools where there is a definite need. The violins, guitars, and mandolin will be assessed for cost to repair and their inherent value before finding a home for them.
Dwight Wages, president of the Southern Stars Symphonic Brass, commented,
"The outpouring of from our residents to donate an instrument for the LINKS program is very gratifying to the SSSB and the Rotary Club as sponsors for this worthy project. It has built additional enthusiasm with the music educators in the school system as this will allow more students to experience playing an instrument. Helping out the school instrumental music programs is one of the missions of the Southern Stars Symphonic Brass, so we are pleased to have started this initiative and appreciate the support from the Rotary Club."
If there are others who missed the LINKS collection dates, but would like to know more about this program, and possibly have a band instrument to donate, you may contact Dwight Wages at 931-484-6939. If you are the owner of good condition concert piano and would be willing to donate it to the school system, there is a definite need. Contact Mr. Wages at the above number.