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Pawn Express donates instruments

Christmas came early for the Goshen High School Band.

Joey Holley, owner of Pawn Express of Troy, donated 20 musical instruments to the band Wednesday as part of a nationwide effort on the part of pawnbrokers to provide musical instruments to underprivileged children.

Holley said the donation was made in support of Musical Instrument Gift Day, which is sponsored by the National Pawnbrokers Association.

“This effort is part of a larger program held in honor of St. Nicholas Day, Patron Saint of Pawnbroking, and National Pawnbrokers Day on December 6,” Holley said. “The program is designed to put musical instruments in the hands of children who need them most.”

Holley donated a variety of instruments including, a trumpet, saxophone, trombone, piccolo, drum, flutes and clarinets.

Daniel Walden, GHS band director, said the instruments are greatly appreciated and much needed.

“We have students who would like to be in the band but just really can’t afford an instrument,” he said. “The donation of these instruments will make it possible for some of the students to join the band. The instruments will also be available for students to try to see which instruments suits them best. This donation will open the doors to band for a lot of students.”

The Goshen High School Band numbers 21 and, with 20 instruments available, the size of the band could almost double.

Nothing would make Walden happier than to have in increase in the number of band students.

“This donation makes it possible,” he said. “We really appreciated Mr. Holley selecting Goshen for this generous donation.”

Al Griffin, GHS principal, also expressed appreciation to Holley.

“We are thrilled to receive the new additions to the school’s set,” he said.

Holley said that pawn shops around the country are organizing donation drives to supply badly needed musical instruments to local charitable organizations and schools.

“Due to drastic budget cuts in state education funds, sometimes it’s not possible to supply the needed instruments,” he said.

Holley estimated the retail value of the donated instruments at $250 each. Multiply that amount by 20 and the instruments came to GHS at quite an investment and with the potential for changing lives for the better.

According to information released by the National Pawnbrokers Association and the College Entrance Examination Board, students in music appreciation score 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on math when they take the SAT.

“Music is important because it does make a difference in lives,” Walden said.