Hitting the right note with young students Donations: Children receive musical instruments and scholarships through an Arts Council program.

September 20, 1998|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

On a recent afternoon, Joshua Smith could be found sitting in a small art studio in Westminster, patiently trying to produce a recognizable sound with his refurbished trumpet.

The dark-haired, 9-year-old boy from New Windsor was among a handful of elementary school students getting acquainted with their musical instruments at the Carroll County Arts Council on Thursday.

The Arts Council gave gently used violins, clarinets, trumpets and trombones to 11 children. The instruments are valued at $200 to $800.

The Arts Council also gave 14 children $100 scholarships toward the purchase or rental of an instrument. The annual rental of an instrument can be as much as $200, making participation in a school band or orchestra out of the question for many children.

The Musical Instrument Bank was made possible through donations from the community and grants from the United Way, the Maryland State Arts Council and the Community Foundation of Carroll County.

"This is the only way we could have gotten him a trumpet," said Joshua's mother, Diane Warner. "I want to thank everyone who donated to the program. I wish they could have seen Joshua's face when he found out he was getting an instrument. He was so tickled, he was jumping up and down."

Several children were jumping up and down as they were handed their instruments. Others looked to Barbara Patterson, a retired music teacher, to show them how to care for their instruments. Robert Coffey, owner of Coffey Music, also was on hand to give the children their first music lesson.

"I love my new violin," said Cait-lin Asselta, 8, a third-grader at Runnymede Elementary School. "It's littler than a viola and it makes a really pretty sound."

The students receiving instruments were from families with a combined income under $35,000. Each child was required to get a recommendation for the program from their music teacher. Those who received instruments may keep them as long as they continue playing. They promised to practice and return the instrument if they decide not to play.

Sandy Oxx, Arts Council director, said she hopes to keep the Musical Instrument Bank going and continues to accept applications. Oxx is asking people to donate their gently used, hand-held instruments.

A receipt verifying the cash value of the instruments will be given to the donor for tax purposes.

The instruments will be taken to Coffey Music, Stu's Music or Leeds Instrument Repair for professional evaluation and appraisal. If the instrument needs repair beyond its value, it would likely be returned to the donor.

"It's really just a wonderful thing when you can help kids that probably wouldn't have an opportunity to play music," said David Max, president of the Arts Council's board of directors.

The following students received scholarships: Brandon Adamez of Hampstead; Tasha Bosley of Westminster; Brittany Burr of Westminster; Cortney Cochran of Taneytown; George Barnhart of Taneytown; Michael Meushaw of Westminster; Lucas Rambo of Westminster; Lindsey Frasca of Westminster; Bradley Keeney Westminster; Zachary Roseboro of Westminster; Sarah Brannon of Sykesville; Siera Saunders of Taneytown; Brianna Udseth of Westminster; and Kurt Udseth of Westminster.

The following students received instruments: Bradley Cavin of Union Bridge, cornet; Graham Cox of Westminster, violin; Derek Reals and Dustin Reals of Eldersburg, trumpets; Joshua Smith of New Windsor, trumpet; Tara Frasca of Westminster, trombone; Cait-lin Asselta of Westminster, violin; Heather Cole of Taneytown, clarinet; Antonia Gilbert of Westminster, clarinet; Jessica Knickman of Taneytown, clarinet; and Ricky Donaldson of Finksburg, trumpet.

To donate an instrument, call the Arts Council at 410-848-7272.

Pub Date: 9/20/98

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