Pine Ridge school receives musical equipment donated by rock band

The late evening news on KEVN Black Hills Fox.
Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 9:00 PM MST
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PINE RIDGE, S.D. (KEVN) - Thanks to a donation from a hunger relief organization and a well-known rock band, students at Pine Ridge High School have access to brand new musical instruments for their band program. All of this has been done as part of a youth empowerment project.

Students and instructors are saying that Christmas came early for music students at Pine Ridge High School. Rock band Widespread Panic donated more than 900 musical instruments to various Native American reservations, with Pine Ridge receiving a substantial amount.

Will Peters is a Lakota language and Culture teacher at Pine Ridge High School and said that music is an integral part of the culture, particularly for the youth.

“All the aspects of our culture are tightly interwoven,” Peters said. “So, whether through social settings or sacred settings, music is always at the very heart and soul of it.”

A hunger-relief organization known as Conscious Alliance coordinated the delivery of the instruments.

The group has deep ties to the Pine Ridge Community, and field director Natalie Hand said that it’s important for the youth of all cultures to take part in the creative outlet of music.

“It allows them to express themselves and to disconnect from technology, and it’s a great stress reliever.,” Hand said. “So, to me, it’s a perfect fit for us.”

The instruments donated include percussion cymbals, flutes, and keyboards.

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