(SAVANNAH, GA) The Savannah Philharmonic announces the Ben Tucker Instrument Library, a collection of musical instruments available to be loaned to deserving music students in Savannah’s schools.
“The Savannah Philharmonic’s goal for the instrument library is to ensure that all deserving students have access to quality instruments,” said Amy Williams, executive director of the Philharmonic. “By working alongside Savannah’s band and orchestra directors, we can help remove barriers to access, promote equitable student participation, and create a lasting community resource.”
Musical instruments are expensive. Student-level flutes, clarinets, saxophones, trumpets and trombones can range in price from $500 to $1,500. Used instruments can cost less, but often require expensive repairs. While the SCCPSS does a great job of supporting the different school programs’ instrument needs, providing and maintaining thousands of instruments is no small task. Many area students rent their instruments through local music stores for about $30 to $70 per month, but this cost is often still well beyond many families’ financial reach.
The instrument library is named in honor of the late Ben Tucker, a man of nationally recognized musical talent who relocated to Savannah and became an influential community leader.
“Ben Tucker was a musical icon, and the Savannah Philharmonic could think of no greater way to honor his memory than by a program which promotes musical equity and assures students can participate in musical education, regardless of their ability to pay,” said Williams.
Tucker was a multi-faceted musician, businessman and entrepreneur who succeeded in multiple fields. As a bassist, he played with the leading jazz musicians of the 1950s and ’60s. He was also a music composer and songwriter, with “Comin’ Home Baby” ranked as his most commercially successful song, recorded by diverse artists from Mel Tormé to Michael Bublé. Other ventures included television commercial production, which led him to collaborate in the development of the ’70s and ’80s educational shorts, “Schoolhouse Rock.” Tucker spent the last 40 years of his life in Savannah, where he became the 15th Black radio station owner in the United States, turning WSOK into the top AM station in Savannah.
Ben understood the meaning of “civic responsibility.” He worked on numerous boards, task forces, and planning committees within the City of Savannah and the impact he had on the youth in the community can be measured by his involvement with Junior Achievers, The First Tee of Savannah, and Bethesda Boys Academy, Boys and Girls Clubs of Savannah, YMCA, The Westin Foundation and now, the Savannah Philharmonic.
The Savannah Philharmonic is now accepting donations of any band or orchestra instruments to add to the library’s collection. Instruments may be donated at upcoming SavPhil events, such as from 5 to 9 p.m. March 4 at Location Gallery @ Austin Hill Realty, or in Chippewa Square in downtown Savannah beginning at 3 p.m. for “Phil the Squares with Song” on March 13th. Instruments may also be dropped off at meetings of the Rotary Club of Savannah on March 7, 21, and 28 at the DeSoto Hotel’s grand ballroom at noon.
To learn of other ways to donate to the Ben Tucker Instrument Library please contact Brad Behr, the orchestra’s Education & Community Initiatives Manager at Brad@SavannahPhilharmonic.com.
ABOUT THE SAVANNAH PHILHARMONIC
The Savannah Philharmonic, a nonprofit 501©(3), is an innovative and influential arts organization which entertains, inspires and builds community throughout the region. The SavPhil performs under the baton of Keitaro Harada, its world renowned Music and Artistic Director. The Philharmonic is dedicated to building community and inspiring youth achievement through equitable music education programming. To learn more about Savannah Philharmonic please visit www.savannahphilharmonic.org, call 912-232-6002, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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