Play it Forward final collection date at the Holiday Arts Fair

Posted on November 18, 2016, in Band, Lancer Life



The Play It Forward Charity Drive will have its final collection date this Saturday at the 10th Annual Holiday Arts Fair.

So far, individuals have “play(ed) it forward” and donated more than 50 band instruments for General McLane students. Instruments donated include flutes, clarinets, trumpets, trombones, bell kits, violins, an alto sax and a full drum set with cymbals.

James W. Parker Middle School Band instructor John Roden started this musical band instrument drive. These instruments will be refurbished and distributed to James W. Parker Middle School students in the Band Exploratory Program to support the next generation of General McLane musicians. The Band Exploratory Program provides fifth grade students with an experience of self-discovery by allowing students to try a variety of instruments.

“Instrumental music is vital in offering an avenue for kids to find a vehicle for self-expression,” said James W. Parker Middle School teacher John Roden. “Band is a highly collaborative activity and draws from multiple intelligences to create live performances that can be shared with the community. As an alumni of the McLane Band, I know that the musicianship, awareness, and responsibility developed through our program will help propel our students to bright futures of their choosing.”

More than 400 students have participated in Exploratory Band since 2011. Currently, the instruments are rented from an outside third party vendor, and students participate by paying a $40 rental fee. However, Roden hopes to lower that fee to reach more students who wish to play an instrument.

Thanks to a $5,000 grant from the General McLane Foundation’s Hill Music Endowment, the instruments collected will be repaired or refurbished and then permanently housed at James W. Parker Middle School to offset or eliminate as much of the student fee as possible.

Volunteers will be on hand to collect instruments this Saturday during the Holiday Arts Fair outside of the General McLane High School Band Room. Those who cannot make this collection night can drop off instruments between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. to General McLane High School or James W. Parker Middle School.  The school is looking for “gently used” band instruments – flutes, clarinets, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, trumpet, trombone, baritone, tuba, drums, etc.

Donors can share the instrument’s backstory by completing a form when making a donation. This ensures that the students understand the literal journey that many of the instruments took before getting into their hands.

For information of questions on how you can donate your once-loved but no-longer-used musical instruments today, please contact John Roden at