Eyes wide open, bright smiles and ready to play!
Thomasville Heights Elementary School students were treated to a special delivery of shiny brand new instruments donated by the Rockley Family Foundation and Georgia State School of Music, through a grant from the Cousins Foundation. The donation of band instruments — flutes, trombones, clarinets, saxophone, drums, etc. – marked a milestone for Thomasville Heights Elementary School that will enable the formation of the school’s band program.
The school’s faculty and students showed their appreciation (and talent) by presenting a mini-recital of songs sung by Thomasville Heights Elementary School Show Choir. However, the celebration especially struck a chord with the school’s 3rd, 4th and 5th grade band students, as they opened the instrument cases and relished in excitement and enthusiasm.
“The look on their faces was priceless…and who knows, maybe the next Wynton Marsalis will come from the band program at Thomasville Heights Elementary,” said Dean Wade Weast of Georgia State University College of the Arts, “I was impressed by the school’s leadership and music faculty, as they’ve laid the necessary groundwork for this program to succeed. This is a wonderful example of community engagement, part of our College’s core mission.”
The gift is part of the four-year grant from the Cousins Foundation, in support of the Carver Cluster of Purpose Built Schools, that will help provide a solid foundation to develop children’s academic engagement through the arts.
“Thanks to the generosity of this partnership, our band kids will develop positive ‘habits’ which will improve their overall academic performance,” said Nicole Evans Jones, Principal, Thomasville Heights Elementary School. “Some of these habits include active listening; good attendance; increased on-task behavior; improved hand/eye coordination; use of both sides of the brain; a sense of belonging/self-worth; and an increased confidence to tackle core content coursework, where they may not have had as much success historically, throughout the school day.”
Special thanks to the Rockley Family Foundation, Cousins Foundation, Carver Cluster of Purpose Built Schools, and the staff and faculty of the Thomasville Heights Elementary School.
For these kids and future generations…let the band play on!
(Photo Credit: Douglas Stevens)