“For aspiring musicians in New York City public schools, a working instrument can be a rare commodity. Last spring, the classical radio station WQXR set out to address some of those needs by asking New Yorkers for their unwanted instruments,” writes Shannon Hodge in Friday’s (11/21) New York Times. “The response was overwhelming: 2,940 donations—from accordions to xylophones to a cracked mandolin and a lovingly cared-for 1918 cello. On Monday at a New York Public Radio gala, WQXR, with Sam Ash music stores and Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, began giving out 1,140 instruments that have been fixed so far. Students from Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School performed at the gala and were surprised with an alto saxophone and an electric guitar … to add to their music program…. While Sam Ash spent the summer fixing the donated instruments, [Mayor] de Blasio’s administration announced its plan to allocate $23 million in additional funding for arts teachers, supplies, and other resources. Doug Israel, director of research and policy at the Center for Arts Education, a nonprofit group, applauded the city’s initiative. He said efforts like the donation drive fostered much-needed community involvement in public schools.”

Posted November 24, 2014