Country music singer's donation of instruments proving a major boost to Johnson Co. school band programs; director: growth in student interest "a great problem to have"

Paintsville Herald, Aug. 31, 2016

Band flourishes after Stapleton donation
By Amber Wilcox

Last March, Grammy award winner and country music star Chris Stapleton returned to his home at Johnson Central High School to give back to the schools marching band that helped develop his love for music by donating instruments.

Martina Lutz, the Johnson Central band director, said that the positive support for band has encouraged other students to join.

“We have over 100 middle and high school kids in band now, and over 300 throughout the elementary schools,” said Lutz, which is more than there has been in the last few years.

Not only did Stapleton’s support of the band encourage kids to join, but his donation of multiple instruments also played an important role.

“It’s helped a lot, it’s helped the kids who couldn’t afford to buy an instrument and has helped us all be able to play in class,” said Alyssa Branham who has been in band for four years now.

Branham said, “The band’s grown from the positive view and him coming has been a good sign for hope” when it comes to building the band back up.

While the band continues to grow the need for new equipment also grows.

“So much more is needed, it’s a problem but a great problem to have” said Lutz.

Johnson Central’s high school band will have its first competition on September 10 at Spring Valley and will continue on the competition trail throughout October.

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