By GREG JORDAN
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Flutes, horns, guitars, violins and other instruments gathering attic dust could find new life in the hands of young people who cannot afford the gift of music.
Stages Music Center, working in cooperation with Community Con-nections, Inc. and the Creating Opportunities For Youth (COFY) Coalition, is hosting the First Instrument Drive for Mercer County students. The goal is to collect gently used or newer musical items that young people could use, said Greg Puckett of Community Connections.
“We know there is a need,” Puckett said “We know there are a lot of clarinets and flutes and stuff like that in attics. If you are willing to donate them, you would truly be making a difference in a young person’s life.”
Even used musical instruments can cost hundreds of dollars, said Melissa McKinney, director of Stages Music School.
“We’re not doing just band instruments,” McKinney said. “We also need string instruments for kids who want to take guitar lessons or violin lessons. We have a scholarship program, but a lot of times these kids who get a scholarship can’t afford the instruments.”
Donated items can include all types of musical instruments such as horns, wind instruments, percussion and strings. In addition, instrument parts and accessories will be accepted, too.
Instruments are being accepted in Princeton at Stages Music School at 860 Mercer St., Princeton Times on Thorn Street, and at Community Connections at 215 South Walker St. The donations are also being accepted at the Bluefield Daily Telegraph at 928 Bluefield Ave., in Bluefield. All locations will be collecting donations until Sept. 25.
Stages Music Center is hosting concerts Sunday at the Lavon Theater on Mercer Street in Princeton. The concerts will be presented at 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. that day, and instruments will be accepted at both shows, McKinney said.
Community Connections has received some donations already, Puckett said. One family donated a trombone they had at a garage sale when they heard about the instrument drive, he recalled.
“That shows you the spirit is there,” Puckett said.
“Every child or young person should have the chance to experience the power of their own music,” McKinney stated. “Having an instrument that allows for this to happen changes not only their lives, but those around them. I’ve seen it and it’s amazing. Having a drive like this truly showcases the power of community, and shows that by helping someone in need can inspire them to live their dreams and change reality!”