I received an email this morning that I thought brings up some very good points. Would someone be so kind as to list a few organizations that assist in finding and donating instruments to area schools? Thanks.
Below is the email and my response. I have changed the sender’s name to “Complaint Sender”
To “Complaint Sender”-
Thank you for your email. I too would be disgusted if I (or anyone else) had destroyed an instrument worth donating. Although it doesn't say it in the video clip, the instrument that I so viciously attacked was a product of in despicable business practices and incredibly poor construction and design. I would never recommend or even allow any of my students to use such a horn. It was purchased on EBAY for $25 and is (was) a product of mainland China. Please do not assume that I broadly condemn such products; just this instrument in particular. This instrument made the horns for sale at Walmart seem like relatively decent instruments.
However, please do some homework on the person and situation that you are reprimanding before writing an email like this. I have volunteered at homeless shelters demonstrating and teaching trumpet (and other brass instruments) in appalling economic and social environments. I am familiar with current music education budgets and political environments within our public and private schools.
But most of all... thank you for caring about the potential young musicians in our country. I wish there were more individuals, especially those with resources beyond a working professional musician, who can help donate instruments and materials to local schools and music programs.
I am not speaking facetiously; thank you.
In a message dated 10/13/2006 11:36:48 A.M. Central America Standard, “Complaint Sender” writes:
Dear Mr Rossum,
I recently watched your performance of "Movement for Trumpet in Three Pieces," and was completely disgusted that a professional musican would destroy a musical instrument for entertainment purposes. Maybe you have forgotten but many aspiring young musicians are in need of better equipment, especially in current times when poorly manufactured instruments are so readily available at Walmart and on EBAY. I hope before you consider more stage antics you consider donating the instrument you are about to destroy for a cheap laugh to a local school, so someone else may experience the joy of trumpet playing that you do not appear to demonstrate in the online clip.