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Booker T. Jazz Ensemble Student Receives a Extraordinary Donation

A Booker T. Washington student got a special surprise during the winter fine arts assembly.

In the weeks leading up the performance, an usher for the Performing Arts Center reached out to Tulsa Public Schools to donate a bass guitar that he had made.

Behind the scenes, four students were nominated by their music directors to receive the generous gift. With names and schools redacted, the four entries were considered, and ultimately Bailey Lipe was selected.

Her jazz ensemble director Robert Reck wrote, “She started taking bass lessons when she was in middle school at the Preslar school. She reads music well and her jazz skills have increased since she has been here. I expect her to be our top bass player next year. She has been an excellent example of how a student who did not grow up in a school music program can get that done.”

The Friday assembly began, and the jazz ensemble performed a festive song. Then, all was halted for a special announcement. Robert Reck was joined by Fine Arts Content Manager JoAnn Caldwell and the donor Mr. Sumpter.

Mr. Sumpter unzipped a guitar case to reveal a beautiful guitar, and Robert revealed the lucky recipient.

“I was shocked. I had no idea,” said Bailey.

Bailey said this will give her the opportunity to practice more often and broaden her horizons.

“I’m really excited to play it and get to know how it plays,” she said. “I love it. I love it so much.”