Mississippi musician donates instruments to high schools | Mississippi News



By KEISHA ROWE, The Clarion-Ledger

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – When Antwone Perkins, originally from Jackson, was young, he loved making music, even though he never had the chance to take lessons or play new instruments.

Now 32, Perkins’ love of music and his desire to see budding musicians excel and take pride in their work inspired the musician to donate instruments to every high school in the public school district. by Jackson.

“I’m just happy to give back because dreams never die,” he said.

Starting in September, Perkins donated to Jim Hill High School, which he graduated from in 2007, and Lanier High School. On Tuesday, he donated a new trombone to the Sound of Perfection Marching Band at Murrah High School.

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Group director Bryan Jefferson Sr. said he was happy to receive the gift because for many students, getting an instrument is often out of reach.

“I am so happy that there are people who recognize that there is a need in our schools and there is a need in our music programs and I am grateful for his donation and his willingness to do so,” did he declare.

Jefferson said the trombone will be given to a junior in the group for as long as he remains a member. Once graduated, it will be handed over to another student.

Perkins said he wanted every instrument he gives to stay with the band because he thinks it’s important for building legacy and inspiration in schools.

“Mississippi is the cradle of American music. It’s our legacy, “he said.” We’ve had Muddy Waters, BB King, Pinetap Perkins – all these musicians who started this culture for America. So we have to push the musicality here – not just the blues, but the music as a whole. “

Perkins, who is self-taught, said he didn’t have many options for playing music when he was very young because his mother never could afford to buy instruments or lessons. Having a new trumpet or clarinet to play instills a sense of pride, he said, and encourages these students to work harder.

“That’s what I want these kids to know – you have to push yourself to be better,” Perkins said. “The group is another way to gain unity in the community. You get together and meet new people.

Perkins said he hopes his donations will inspire others to donate old, working instruments to schools so more students can participate in their school groups. Perkins said he is also creating a non-profit organization that will focus on providing more opportunities for young musicians nationwide, including scholarships for those who continue their education.

Perkins said he hoped the donations would start to generate more goodwill among the townspeople and develop more programs not only around music, but help the young people around Jackson find better paths to lead. an enriched life.

“The important part for me is to come from somewhere and raise awareness of what needs to change, and what needs to change is the community coming together,” he said. “That’s the answer for Jackson. The community comes together for the children.

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