My dear colleagues and beloved friends:
I am about to return to the US from my 14th trip to Haiti. This summer has been good in some respects (performances by our students the greatest, the new camp location at Cange a close second), and very sad in others.
Sad, because, once again, I've lost some dear friends while I've been away, but also because meeting a new group of kids in Cange (from Cange, Mirabelais and Hinche) who are SO excited about playing music( and finding real comfort and joy in the process) are having to work with really awful instruments...
I found kids with trumpets and cornets on which the broken spit valves and tuning slides had been welded shut/blocked with solder (while essential braces were broken/non-existant)....mouthpieces that looked more like the broken glass and razor wire atop fences than the clean/smooth/plated surfaces that are conducive to good playing, bell crooks and leadpipes that are so flattened it's amazing that the kids are able to make any sounds at all!
(and that's just the trumpeters---I won't even begin to address the conditions of other instruments which were equally bad or worse!)
I come to you (again, yes, I know I do this too often, but the needs continue...)...
To ask you---no, to BEG you to please consider finding an instrument or two (or 5 or 10---please ask your colleagues to get involved, too!) that you can donate to Instrumental Change for the sake of these kids.
We also need music, mouthpieces, instrument cases and gig bags (some of the kids have to travel by "moto" or motorcycle taxi and it's hard to do that without a gig bag for the horn), valve oil (unfortunately synthetic oils don't operate well--and when the students run out and use WD-40 or regular valve oil the valves tend to freeze up--except for Ultra Pure and Tech Oil, which mix well with others), and also music stands, recorders (for the kids in pre-band), band and orchestra and jazz band charts and ensemble arrangements for every possible combination of instruments (even odd combos, like tenor sax and violin---I've been asked to provide for this ensemble!), metronomes, etc....
I know that some (many?) of you maintain collections of instruments in your studio, or basement, or living room.....would you possibly consider thinning out your collection a bit to provide a life-changing opportunity for some kids in the poorest nation in the hemisphere?
Perhaps it gives you pleasure to look at your treasures hanging up on the wall--but I guarantee you that pleasure will be multiplied a thousand-fold in the hearts of the recipients of any instruments you choose to donate.
And your donation may be tax-deductible (Instrumental Change is a 501c3 approved organization, so we can provide a receipt for you--check with your tax-professional to be sure of the amount you can deduct), to the extent provided by law.
Donations may be sent to our receiving facility in Danvers, MA:
INSTRUMENTAL CHANGE, INC
301 Newbury St S-142
Danvers, MA 01923
(please include email and/or snail mail address for a receipt)
Credit/Debit card donations may be made through our website, via Network For Good: Welcome to Instrumental Change!
Please, please, PLEASE consider helping: "Whatsoever you do to the LEAST of My bretheran, that you do unto Me"
In Love, fellowship and blessings,