Free concert offers opportunity to help SWLA music education

Published: Jun. 22, 2023 at 8:09 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Are you ready to listen to some music for a good cause? “Music Makers2U” is a non-profit that helps provide old instruments and refurbish them for schools and individuals that want to play in the school band. And this weekend, they’re teaming up with a local band to raise money for more instruments.

So, if you have a clarinet, flute, saxophone, or any other musical instrument tucked away, now is a great opportunity to help put them into the hands of a new aspiring musician.

Since 2013 “Music Makers2U” has issued over 600 instruments to both school bands and students in SWLA. This is incredibly important for many families as any parent of a band student will tell you that instruments can get very pricey.

Usually, band directors nominate students based on a request by the parents. And after two years of using the instrument, the student gets to keep it as their own.

Now, “Music Makers2U” is teaming up with the local “Last Minute Big Band” for a free concert that provides an opportunity to donate to music education in our area.

Tiffany Guillory is the president of “Music Makers2U” and says, “What this concert is doing is the funds will go towards refurbishing and cleaning the instruments which allows kids to join band programs...It pays for saxophones to get re-padded, clarinets to get re-padded...that’s two to three hundred dollars.”

It also helps students like 7th Grader Betty Marino at F. K. White Middle School who has been a singer her whole life but wants to join the band, “I’ve been singing since I was really little. And I saw that I had a band at my school and I decided to take it. I think it’s a really amazing program because it can provide instruments to people in need.”

Marino says it was a tough decision, choosing between two instruments. But when it came down to the clarinet and the saxophone, she says she knows she made the right choice with the saxophone.

“It is really fun,” said Marino.

“Last Minute Big Band” has over 20 people who play everything from swing to pop hits and even jazz.

One of the members is Jacob Bridges, who says he also received an instrument through “Music Makers2U” when he was a freshman in college. Now, years later, he’s a band director.

“This program is a wonderful opportunity for students to have their own personal instrument for them to have. Because instruments do not come cheap,” said Bridges. ”Giving people the opportunity to have an instrument that they can own donated through this program...that’s what makes programs like music makers to you so wonderful.”

The free concert will be on Saturday, June 24, at 3 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Lake Charles on 812 Kirkman St.

If you would like to donate money or instruments through “Music Makers2U” you can do so at the event, call (318) 616-0681, or message them via their Facebook page.