Birmingham school asks community for band instruments

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A Birmingham elementary school is asking for your help to give more students the chance to receive the gift of music.

Norwood Elementary has several hundred students and many of them would like to be involved in the band program. But the school only has about 50 instruments.

That means a lot of times teachers can only use 1 instrument, and that's the human voice.

Students go from learning their scales by first singing them. Then for the few who have an instrument, by playing them. That's what 4th grade tuba player, Quintavious Cheese, likes about class.

"They tell us how to hold it, and what number the keys are, and they show us how to play," Cheese said.

"I usually look forward to it. Two reasons--one because it's fun, and two -- I don't have to do my work.," said 5th grad trombone player, Cristopher Rosas.

Rosas is honest about his logic for loving band, but then-band director, current principal, Errol Watts, knows how important a few notes can be.

"Part of me was how iIlearned to play the horn," Watts said. "I never gave up, it was nothing that was too hard for me to handle. And that's what these children are looking at and we need to step up to the plate."

With no funding from the school system available, Watts is asking the community for help with donated band instruments. He'll take any kind. As long as its playable.

"I'm not forcing them," Rosas said. "It's their choice, they can do whatever they want. But it would really help our school if we could get more instruments because a lot of kids really want to be in band."

If you'd like to donate an instrument you can bring it to the school at 3136 Norwood Boulevard or call 231-3620.