Thursday, 30 January 2020 13:25

Be Instrumental: Skidmore College Hosts Musical Instrument Drive to Benefit Elementary School Students

Photo provided. Photo provided.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Skidmore College will host Be Instrumental — a musical instrument drive to benefit elementary school students in the North Country, including Ticonderoga Elementary School band program students. The drive will accept gently used brass, woodwind and percussion band instruments.  The drive began Wednesday, Jan. 22 and concludes Saturday, Feb. 8.

In tandem, Skidmore students hosted “Band-Aid” — a benefit concert on Jan. 25 at Lively Lucy’s in Falstaff’s Pavilion on the Skidmore College Campus. The event price of admission was an instrument or a monetary donation of any amount. All proceeds went toward the Be Instrumental drive.

When Evan Mack’s 10-year-old son came home from band practice and told him that some of his classmates were playing plastic instruments or instruments held together by tape, the senior teaching professor of music at Skidmore College was stunned. He also learned that many students could not afford to rent musical instruments.

Mack, an accomplished composer and pianist, teamed up with Michelle Hubbs, director of the Office of Community Service, as well as Skidmore students Madison Pappas ’22 and Neil Mellstrom ’20 to create Be Instrumental — an instrument drive aimed at giving the gift of music to children in Ticonderoga Schools. 

“Learning to play on a quality, working instrument is so important. When you give children a functional instrument, what you’re really giving them is the opportunity to explore what they’re capable of and to fall in love with music,” says Mack.

Skidmore students have been asked to bring gently used instruments that they no longer use back to campus when they return from winter break for the drive. “So many of our students have played an instrument at one point, in high school or even college, but no longer use that instrument,” says Mack. “These same instruments can now inspire a new generation of students.”

Several local businesses and organizations in the Saratoga region will help spread the word and encourage participation. Esperanto, Smashburger and Kru Coffee are offering incentives to those who support the drive. Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) will provide a special classical music package to whoever donates the most instruments. Cole’s Woodwind Shop and Saratoga Guitar & Music Center have volunteered to clean and prepare donated instruments before they are distributed to schools.

Ticonderoga Elementary school will be the primary beneficiary, but all surplus instruments will be distributed to other area schools.

For more information contact Evan Mack at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Read 2029 times


  • Saratoga County Court David T. Henderson, 47, of Fort Edward, was sentenced on Nov. 28 to 8 years’ incarceration and 3 years’ post-release supervision, following his conviction of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third-degree. Henderson was arrested in connection with drug-dealing activities that took place March 2023 in Halfmoon, Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen said, in a statement. A search warrant executed on Henderson’s vehicle revealed nearly one-half kilo cocaine and numerous fentanyl pills in his possession. Henderson had at least five prior felony drug convictions, Heggen added.  Bowie T. Bouchard, 36, was sentenced Nov. 27 to…

Property Transactions

  • BALLSTON Eastline Holdings LLC sold property at 31 Appleton St to Nicole Kerber for $590,040 Stephen Brenon sold property at 12 Midline Rd to Paul Perrault for $940,000 Matthew O’Connor sold property at 528 Hop City Rd to Saratoga Custom Woodworking for $195,000 CORINTH Christine Callear sold property at 53 Locust Ridge Dr to Phillip Pendergast for $300,000 GALWAY Daniel Szabo sold property at 3070 Parkwood Dr to Lance Kilpatrick for $315,000 Alisa Jenney sold property at 5119 Jockey St to Eric Sebast for $115,000 Bernard Leerkes sold property at 4931 Jockey St to Felicia Segelken for $410,000 Deborah Bennett…