Fixing broken musical instruments for students—and creating something new, too

Posted on: November 7, 2017

“Parents are used to hearing that school budgets are putting the squeeze on activities like music and sports,” writes Ted Loos in Monday’s (11/6) New York Times. “But rarely has a solution to such a problem been as elaborate and artistic as the ‘Symphony for a Broken Orchestra.’ The Pulitzer- and Grammy-winning composer David Lang was commissioned by Temple Contemporary, the art gallery at Temple University, to create the symphony to help solve a problem: The Philadelphia school system has more than 1,000 broken instruments and little money to fix them. Around 400 musicians, a third of them students in the public schools, will perform the piece on Dec. 3 at the 23rd Street Armory in Philadelphia on some of those broken instruments…. After the [free] show … the instruments will be repaired, using money from donations inspired by the performance, online gifts to ‘adopt’ instruments and financial support from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage and the Barra Foundation. Repair kits will also be given to the schools, and a ‘legacy fund’ endowment established. About $100,000 has been raised of the $1 million goal.”

Posted November 7, 2017

Pictured: A cello from the Henry Lea Elementary School in Philadelphia. The neck, tailpiece and endpin are all detached from the body. Credit via “Symphony for a Broken Orchestra”  and Temple Contemporary