NEW ORLEANS -- The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation is giving back. Sunday, the nonprofit wrapped up the last day of its Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival by giving away more than $30,000 worth of instruments to local schools.
Sunday, student brass bands from all over the metro area came to compete in this year's Class Got Brass competition.
With a lot of money on the line, the students gave it their all, but there could only be one winner.
St. Augustine High School won first place and the $10,000 in instruments. It was the brass band's first year performing in the competition. Students gave up their weekends to practice and Sunday their hard work paid off during their big debut.
"Very surprised, but at the same time well deserved because we worked so hard," said Jeffery Herbert, director of the St. Augustine Marching 100. "I have some kids that would like to be a part of the band, but we do not have enough instruments, so this will really help."
Scott Agies with the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation says the non-profit is dedicated to support band directors, music teachers and their programs. This year the group gave away more than 30,000 dollars worth of instruments.
"In fact, a lot of the band directors tell us that new professional brass bands are starting among their students as a result of competing in this program," Agies.
"I see a couple of those students out there and high school bands that are ready to do some gigs already," said Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews. "I was very inspired and happy to see them.
As part of Sunday's competition Trombone Shorty donated 25 trumpets and 25 trombones several area schools, but he says his partnership with the Jazz and Heritage Foundation is just the beginning.
"We will have a lot more coming later this year," Andrews said. "My plan is to get them in every school that has a musical program here in the city."
He says the goal is to preserve the musical traditions of the city, while investing in its future.