Harvey Instrument Relief: Music Doing Good to the Rescue

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Music Doing Good quickly realized that not only did Houston sustain a devastating loss of residences, commercial buildings, performance halls and green spaces, but that Houston schools had sustained a devastating loss of musical instruments, as well. Thankfully a colleague and friend, Chris Johnson of KMFA Classical 89.5 in Austin, reached out through social media to a myriad of contacts to survey the scope of need. As a result of his efforts, Music Doing Good has been contacted by several schools who literally lost every instrument in their band and orchestra programs.

As our President and Founder, Ms. Marie Bosarge, has said a million times, “Music education is a necessity, not a luxury.” With that directive in mind, Music Doing Good is working to replace those instruments so that our children can get back to what we believe is the cornerstone of their education — music. We are dedicated to utilizing every resource available to assist in the rebuilding of music programs in Houston.

Music Doing Good with Instruments Director, Kenneth Gayle, received this letter from the Pasadena Independent School District Fine Arts Director, Linda Fletcher. Instruments for Fred Roberts Middle School and Thompson Intermediate School in Pasadena will arrive shortly to replace the ones they lost.

“There have been many tears shed over the past 2 weeks as a result of Harvey, but none more welcome and beautiful than those of today when I read your (Ken Gayle) email to Debbie McKelvey (Roberts Middle School).  On behalf of the Pasadena Independent School District, our amazing band and orchestra directors and our precious students, please let me express our unspeakable gratitude for the generosity of you and Music Doing Good, Inc.

As a suburban district, we are often overlooked as one that serves a community of hard working families who even before the storm often struggled to make ends meet, much less find the financial means to allow their children to participate in the Fine Arts, particularly band and orchestra where obtaining a musical instrument can be daunting.  PISD, its administration and school board all believe that the Arts, and music in particular, are important building blocks in overall education.

PISD is now in our 11th year as one of the Top 100 Communities for Music Education and a large part of that is the tremendous financial investment PISD has made in making instruments available to students from every financial situation.  Our annual rental policy is only $30.00 per year and when that is not feasible, we make arrangements to underwrite their rentals.  The rental fees go solely toward repair and maintenance of the instruments and purchasing additional instruments when possible.

After teaching elementary music and Intermediate & High School choir for 30 years in PISD, I have been blessed to serve as the Director of Fine Arts for the past 12 years.  Our Fine Arts faculty now consists of 299 teachers and directors serving over 90% of our student population in K-12.  Our district partners with the Houston Symphony and our elementary schools compete to get their names in quickly each year to be part of the 12,000 students we send to hear the symphony.  We are also partners with the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation and for many years partnered with NASA.

Like Debbie, I was unaware of Music Doing Good, Inc., but we are blessed to have been directed to you during this time of need.  Please know that we want you and other members of the Music Doing Good, Inc staff and directors to attend one of our concerts this year so the Pasadena ISD and our community can recognize the good work you are doing.

Words are often incapable of expressing our true feelings but in His wisdom, God gave us music.  Thank you for helping us keep music alive in our schools.”

Linda Fletcher

Director of Fine Arts

Pasadena ISD