Young musicians at Soldan International Studies High School thought they were just performing for school visitors from Fidelity Investments today, but were surprised instead with brand new clarinets, saxophones, and flutes.
The student body assembled for what was presented as a standard assembly for the Fidelity representatives to learn more about the school's performing arts arm. After a brief presentation from both the band and from Fidelity investments,vice president of and branch manager of Fidelity's Chesterfield Investor Center Brian Hayes took the stage and explained what was going on.
During the presentation, the employees left their seats and returned carrying the brand new instruments, and received cheers and applause.
Band director Crisena Brown is glad that the students were able to see the demonstration of gratitude.
“New instruments, a lot of times, just do wonders for the spirit of the students,” she said. “I think they were excited just to know that somebody cares enough to donate instruments to them.”
The fourteen brand new instruments totaled over $22,000 and came from Fidelity with help from the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. The organization focuses on supplying instruments to schools and community programs that are in need. Soldan performs at school games and parades throughout the year. Brown thinks the students appreciated being on the receiving end of a good deed, for a change.
“My students are very generous anyway, and because we do so many community related things, and to see somebody give something back to them, instead of them always having to give, I think it just enhances their spirit,” she says of the donation.
Around 100 students are part of the school’s band ensemble. The donation’s timing is perfect, as the band will perform in two upcoming ensemble festivals this month.