Vince Gill surprises student band whose instruments were destroyed in floods

Waverly, Tennessee — When deadly floods hit the small Tennessee town in August, many in the community lost their homes and the rhythm of normal. Among the items that were destroyed were the Waverly Junior High School band’s instruments, which were a low priority to replace given the circumstances. 

Harmony Sanders, one of the band members, has been living with her aunt and cousins since the flooding destroyed her family’s home. The seventh-grader is sleeping in a borrowed bed and was playing a borrowed clarinet. 

“It just doesn’t have that same good vibe that I had from my old one,” she said. 

The school band has since received the gift of music. Country music star Vince Gill stepped in with a donation from the Country Music Association Foundation and instrument manufacturer KHS America to give the student band 40 new instruments worth $100,000. 

“It takes every single one of ’em to make a band, be a band,” Gill said. “It’s the best feeling in the world to feel connected to something, you know? It’s beautiful when you watch it happen.” 

Gill surprised the students with the donation at a school assembly earlier this month. 

Sanders said she already feels different. 

“I think that everybody can just be happier now and have less weight on their shoulders,”
she said. 

The town still stares at a long recovery, but kindness hit a high note in a community that needed to hear one. 

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