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Mississippi Community Symphonic Band Supports Expansion of Lanier Music Program

August 23, 2021

Lanier band students with instruments and educators

Lanier High School band students hold their instruments provided by the Mississippi Community Symphonic Band. Also in the photo are Anasha Caffey, Assistant Principal (left); Antonia Bratton, Band Director (center); Dr. Paxton Girtmon (2nd from right) and David Schommer, teacher of the Gifted at Obama Magnet and MCSB Instrument Drive coordinator.

Lanier High School received 10 musical instruments from the Mississippi Community Symphonic Band (MCSB). The instruments—trumpets and trombones—will support the expansion of the school's band program. This distribution to Lanier was made possible through The MCSB's award-winning Musical Instrument Drive. The MCSB collects used but playable (sometimes with minor repairs) band instruments of all types: trumpets, trombones, clarinets, flutes, saxophones, and more! Donated instruments are cleaned, serviced, and distributed to school band programs to be loaned to families who could not afford to rent or purchase a musical instrument for their children. Since the start of this program, in August 2015, the MCSB has donated over 200 instruments to 23 schools representing eight school districts throughout Mississippi.

Fifteen other JPS schools have also benefitted from MCSB's Musical Instrument Drive over the past six years. They include Power APAC (2015), Bailey APAC Middle School (2015), Rowan Middle School (2015), Brinkley Middle School (2015), Blackburn Laboratory Middle School (2016), Hardy Academy of Career Exploration (2016), Whitten Preparatory Middle School (2016), Chastain Middle School (2016 / 2017), Siwell Academy of Leadership (2017), Northwest Jackson Middle School (2017), Kirksey Middle School (2018), Powell Academy of Military Science (2018), Cardozo Middle School (2018), Peeples Middle School (2018), and Obama Magnet (2017-2021).

Since the inception of the Musical Instrument Drive, the Mississippi Association of Partners in Education (MAPE) has awarded the Mississippi Community Symphonic Band and Jackson Public Schools two Governor's Awards and a Partnership Excellence Award for the outstanding community partnership effort.

Antonio Bratton is the band director at Lanier High School. Obama Magnet gifted teacher David Schommer serves on the MCSB board of directors, coordinates the Musical Instrument Drive, and conducts the MCSB's Mississippi Swing! Big Band.