Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra gifts supplies to Ypsilanti Community High School Band

Scott Hawkins, Director of Bands at Ypsilanti Community High School displays music supplies donated by Jeffrey McKelvey on behalf of the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra. (Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra)

YPSILANTI, Mich. – The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra recently donated a series of music supplies to the Ypsilanti Community High School Band.

A2SO said the gift was a part of the organization’s “ongoing commitment to supporting local community and education initiatives.”

A2SO Board Member and Vice President of Education & Engagement Jeffrey McKelvey recently met with Director of Bands at Ypsilanti Community High School, Scott Hawkins, to deliver accessories to the student band, including cleaning supplies, reeds, mouthpieces, percussion accessories, valve oil and more.

At the start of the 2020-2021 school year, Hawkins took it on himself to personally deliver instruments to individual students so they could still practice and learn remotely.

“I am so thankful for the communication and support from the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra,” Hawkins said in a release. “It is great to hear from outside organizations that are checking into the wellbeing of local school music programs. There is a long road ahead to piece music programs back together after a global pandemic.

“The supplies we are receiving will greatly aide our current and prospective students. I am hoping we can build a partnership into the future that ensures an equitable band experience for our students in Ypsilanti.”

McKelvey said music education is more important now than ever because it’s more than about learning -- it’s about making people feel a certain way.

“Music is how you make people feel,” McKelvey said in a statement. “If you give a student the tools to show you how they feel, they can use this to communicate in brand new ways, opening up paths of connection and enrichment that extend to everything that comes into their lives. We need band directors like Scott Hawkins. He is a special person, carrying out a special mission. I am happy to help provide the tools to accomplish this.”

Now in its 92nd season, the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra brings live music to 70,000 listeners each year. Locally, it presents numerous concerts at Hill Auditorium and Michigan Theater annually and reaches the community via online streaming, radio, educational programs, recordings and numerous community concerts.

Cellist Benjamin Francisco performs at the Michigan Theater. (Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra)

A new initiative designed with teachers in mind, the A2SO Teacher Resource Hub aims to help provide educators with user-friendly learning resources both inside the classroom and on virtual platforms.

The A2SO continues to present free virtual KinderConcerts for toddlers through age five in an effort to deepen their connection with music. After presenting Terrific Trombone, Playful Percussion and Victorious Violin, a fourth virtual program will be released at the end of May.

For more information about A2SO, visit

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.