The Music Makers 2U program enables area band students like these at Maplewood Middle School to own their own instruments. (Rick Hickman / American Press Archives)
Last Modified: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 1:05 PM
A group of Lake Area students who received donated musical instruments will perform for the first time at 6 p.m. Sunday, May 4, in the Shearman Fine Arts Center.
The event, An Evening with MusicMakers, will feature about 30 middle and high school students who received instruments this school year through the nonprofit organization MusicMakers2U.
According to Eva LeBlanc, MM2U president, the students will share the stage with several other artists, including concert pianist Lina Morita, the Lake Charles Dance Academy, Young Band Nation, the McNeese State University Trumpet Ensemble and “Sax in the City” artist Mickey Smith.
“It’s going to be a really good time,” LeBlanc said. “This concert will highlight pop and classical music along with jazz and classical ballet. However, the piece most will come to hear will be performed by our students — the Louisiana state song, ‘You are my Sunshine.’ ”
LeBlanc said the students will attend a music camp the day before the concert to meet each other and rehearse. They will be paired with music mentors from McNeese State University sororities and fraternities to help them learn more about their instrument.
LeBlanc said her organization accepts donated musical instruments and then cleans and refurbishes them to give to local students.
“The premise behind MM2U is that many school students have a desire to play a musical instrument but no means to obtain one,” she said. “At the same time, many instruments have been silenced as they sit on closet shelves or in attics collecting dust. By pairing donated instruments with students desiring to play them, MM2U restores sound to the instrument and a voice to the student.”
According to LeBlanc, students are referred to the organization by music teachers or private instructors. Since its inception in August, MM2U has received 60 donated instruments; over half of them have already been paired with a student, she said.
Since the organization relies solely on donations, LeBlanc said the concert will serve as its chief fundraiser for the year. “All proceeds will benefit the organization,” she said. “As you can imagine, it takes funds to clean and refurbish the instruments, and it’s so important that we continue.”
LeBlanc also said that a silent auction and gala will be at 5 p.m., before the concert.
“It is exciting to see the young musicians who are just learning to play their instruments and who are interested in continuing to learn and to perform,” LeBlanc said. “The concert will give their families and the community an opportunity to cheer on these emerging artists.”
Cost of attendance is $30 per person or $20 for students and senior citizens; children age 6 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased at the door.