The Tipitina’s Foundation has awarded Northeast High School with about $13,000 in refurbished instruments through the organization’s Instrument Repair Initiative — the Instruments A Comin’ program.
In recognition of the hard work and commitment exemplified by Northeast Band Director Cedric Todd and the school’s band students, who range from seventh- to 12th-graders, the foundation has awarded six trumpets, three bass drums, two French horns and two tubas, according to Youth Programs Manager Jacob Garcia, of Tipitina’s Foundation in New Orleans.
“Having only 10 students in band just two years ago, the Northeast High band has overcome near extinction through the leadership and tenacity of the school’s band director, Cedric Todd,” Garcia said. “It’s really exciting what he’s done.”
Todd, a resident of Baker, played trombone in Southern University’s Human Jukebox and was band director at East Feliciana High School for four years before signing on with Northeast.
Under his leadership, the band has grown from 10 students to about 65 members.
“It’s been fun but it’s taken a lot of hard work and dedication,” Todd said.
Todd said he applied to the program over the summer, explaining the high school’s need for the instruments and the music program’s goals.
Garcia and others from the Foundation visited NHS, the band room and observed some of the school’s equipment before making the decision to award the instruments.
The Instrument Repair Initiative strengthens the Instruments A Comin’ program, allowing the foundation to collect and refurbish used instruments and place them in the hands of students across Louisiana, increasing access to music education, Garcia said.
Through Instruments A Comin’, the school will receive two instruments annually following this first installment.
Another previous Instruments A Comin’ recipient is Belaire High School in Baton Rouge, which will receive a sousaphone and two concert tubas from the Foundation.
Instruments are accepted and donated from across the country and though some have minor problems, they are soon repaired, cleaned and placed in new cases when necessary, Garcia said.
Instruments with damage beyond repair are stripped for parts that can be used to fix other instruments.
To date, the Tipitina’s Foundation has repaired and placed 85 refurbished instruments, along with more than $3 million worth of new instruments in more than 95 Louisiana school music programs.
On Friday, the community is invited to celebrate Northeast’s donation from the Tipitina’s Foundation during a halftime presentation.
In addition to the instruments, NHS received a banner from the Tipitina’s Foundation.
To donate your used instrument or for information, visit tipitinasfoundation.org or call (504) 309-7934.