City Centre Mirror
With the Regent Park School of Music (RPSM) set to move into its new digs in the Regent Park Arts and Cultural Centre soon, the organization has a growing need for new musical instruments.
A pair of local residents are doing their part to help the school fill that need, holding an instrument drive and asking anyone with unused musical instruments to donate them.
“This was actually prompted when I moved after having renovations done and I found an old clarinet I’ve been dragging around since Grade 13,” said Anne Pastuszak, who is running Cabbagetown Instruments for Change along with fellow local Lynn Dionne. “We decided to see if we can’t drum up similar things from the community and so far we’ve heard a few people who have come to us with similar stories.”
Roughly 24 hours after reaching out through their own contact lists, Dionne and Pastuszak had three more confirmed donations and the possibility of a grand piano.
The instruments will certainly be welcome. Along with its big move, the RPSM will be expanding to reach out to more children both within the Regent Park community and elsewhere.
“We’ll be doing a lot of new group initiatives all under one roof in the new space,” said RPSM director Richard Marsella. “We’re looking to expand things like our steel band and start a string ensemble.”
All told, the school plans to double its Regent Park student intake and increase its overall enrollment – including at its satellite locations in Parkdale and the Jane-Finch area – from 854 students to 3,000 by the year 2015.
“We’re doing a fundraising drive right now for all the instruments we’ll need over the next three years, and (Dionne and Pastuszak’s) drive really gets us off on the right foot,” Marsella said. “It’s so nice when you get people in the community who get what we’re doing and want to help out.”
The school will accept a large variety of musical instruments, including cellos, clarinets, drums and percussion instruments, trumpets, trombones, French horns, recorders, guitars, violins and violas. The instruments must be in working order.
“The school has a working relationship with (music store) Long & McQuade, so Lynn and I will pick up the instruments and take them en masse to the store,” Pastuszak said. “The store will make sure they’re safe and in good working order and have all the parts they need.”
Long & McQuade will also appraise the instruments, with donors receiving a charitable receipt from the RPSM for the appraised value of the instruments.
Cabbagetown Instruments for Change will run through Thursday, Aug. 30. For more information or to arrange the pick-up of a musical instrument, email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the Regent Park School of Music or to make a cash donation, visit www.rpmusic.org