VAN BUREN, MO (KFVS) – Original Post
Students at Van Buren High School in Missouri are learning about music thanks to a band that’s been rocking since way before they were born.
The Doobie Brothers donated more than $20,000 worth of retired equipment to the school.
“Out of every school it has to be this small town,” Van Buren High School Freshman, Travis Richards said .
On Monday, April 10, they got a special delivery from The Doobie Brothers.
“I’ve been waiting for it for a few days, but today I was really excited about it,” Freshman Kierra Pender said.
These guitars, drum sets and amps have traveled the world with the iconic rock band.
Now, they’ll be in the hands of a new generation of rock stars.
Teacher, Jeff Chapman, is a lifelong musician.
“I started out learning music in this room,” Chapman said.
After traveling most of his life with bands, Chapman has come back to where he started.
“It’s like having 300 of your own kids, and they for some reason like me, and I like them, so it’s a win/win for both of us,” Chapman said.
His connections in the music industry made the donation possible.
A former Van Buren High School student, Booth Burrows, had a connection to the band, and asked Chapman if he knew anyone who would want to buy it.
Chapman said no, but he did know a group of kids who definitely would.
“We worked for a month getting all the paperwork and ducks in a row, and they said absolutely. We’ll donate it,” Chapman said.
Rockit Cargo, Chapman and Burrows worked together to get the equipment over half way across the nation from San Francisco.
The equipment is valued at over $20,000, but for these students, it is priceless.
“I didn’t think Van Buren would come up like this with all this musical equipment. This is exactly what we needed,” Pender said.
“We don’t really have the money to get all this extra curricular stuff that we need,” Freshman Caleb Napier said.
“Unfortunately, a lot of times, music programs get cut out of small schools like this, but with this big donation I don’t think it’s going anywhere for a while,” Mr. Chapman said.
Even though, for some of the kids, the ‘cool factor’ goes over their heads.
“I’d heard of them a couple times,” Pender said.
Richards couldn’t think of his favorite Doobie Brothers song, but ‘Black Water’ came to mind.
Napier said he wasn’t familiar with the Doobie Brothers before the donation.
Mr. Chapman on the other hand, has been a fan for years.
“That was the setting for China Grove.” Chapman said looking at a guitar pedal with ‘CHINA’ written next to it.
Still, the students can’t say thank The Doobies enough.
“Thank you, and I appreciate all this equipment they donated to us, and it’s pretty special stuff. It’s pretty cool,” Napier said.
Chapman hopes this equipment can inspire his students for years to come.
“I’m still pinching myself. I’m amazed. It’s incredible that we actually have this in this school, and we’ll be able to use a great deal of it too,” Chapman said.
Soon they won’t just listen to the music, they’ll be able to play it too.
“I bet we’re going to have a lot more electric guitar players now,” Chapman said.
The students gathered in the parking lot of the school to shout out an enthusiastic, “Thank you Doobie Brothers!”
The next day, Chapman found a backdrop from one of The Doobie Brothers tours.
They laid it out in the parking lot, and had to take a picture from the roof to get a picture of the whole thing.
Mr. Chapman said the instruments will be used in the school’s upcoming band concert.
The Doobie Brothers are on tour in Australia, and weren’t available to comment on the donation.