Thomas Kelly School hosts instrument drive for band program in need

Updated 7/21/2021 6:07 PM

Richard Daily, Fine Arts Department Chairman and Director of Bands at Thomas Kelly College Preparatory, has more band students than instruments.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, students would often share instruments, using individual mouth pieces but rotating use of the instrument itself. Out of caution for student health, this practice has been discontinued, leaving the school band program in a lurch.


At the same time, participation in the school band programs has been growing despite the pandemic, with last year's practices and performances taking place through Zoom conferencing. With the student enrollment slated for the 2021-2022 school year, there won't be enough instruments to go around.

"We simply do not have enough instruments to support the level of participation our music programs are seeing," Daily said. "Our band program for the 2021 fall semester includes about 300 beginners, 90 intermediate students and about 50 advanced students. In addition to our popular marching band and jazz ensemble, we have an orchestra program that is growing fast."

The needs of Thomas Kelly's band programs caught the attention of Bikes & Music whose mission is to help Chicagoland youth.

Bikes & Music seeks donations of used band instruments in good condition. The instruments will be cleaned and serviced before being provided to Thomas Kelly's high school students.

The critical needs include: four flutes; six alto saxophones; 12 trumpets/cornets; six trombones; two baritones/euphoniums; two tubas; and string instruments, including cellos, basses, violins and violas.

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Bikes & Music is asking Chicagoland's music-loving public for help. If you have a band instrument in good shape that is no longer being used, please consider donating it to our cause. Instrument donations may be dropped off at the following locations and times:

Donation Drop Off Locations, July 16, 2021, September 1, 2021

StartingPoint Realty Headquarters

1515 Woodfield Road, Suite 910, Schaumburg

M-F 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

StartingPoint Realty Roscoe Village

3224 N Damen, Chicago

W, F 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Edward Jones, Financial Advisor: Dane M Pinter

1256 W. Northwest Hwy., Palatine

M-F 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Jameson Sotheby's, Chris Stephen

2934 Central St., Evanston

M-F 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 2 to 5 p.m.

Lakes Realty Group, Pat Smarto


16 E. Grand, Fox Lake

M-F 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Crank Revolution Bike Shop

1636 W. Algonquin Road, Hoffman Estates

Sun-Sat 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

North Shore Barrington Association of Realtors

450 Skokie Blvd., Building 1200, Northbrook

M-F 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

As an option, pick-up of donated instruments may be arranged by contacting Bikes & Music by emailing

Find out more about Bikes & Music at:

The Thomas Kelly High School Marching Band, or "Kelly Band" is recognized as one of the most visible and hardest-working high school bands in Chicago. On a national level, they have represented Illinois at The Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, LA (2015), The National Memorial Day Parade in Washington DC (2018), The Camping World Bowl in Orlando, FL (2019), and annual visits to the McDonald's Thanksgiving Day Parade, hosted here in Chicago but seen on TV all over the world. The Kelly Band is frequently booked to perform at many Chicago and suburban parades and special events.

Learn more about Thomas Kelly College Preparatory music programs by visiting Thomas Kelly College Preparatory is an IB, AP Capstone and AVID public high school, proudly serving the Brighton and McKinley Park communities of Chicago.

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