Thursday, May 14, 2009

Helping Young, Aspiring Banjo and Guitar Musicians

In mid-January a representative of The Theatre in Washington, VA, contacted Little Bear Banjo Hospital on behalf of Rappahannock High School's music program, which was looking for guitars and banjos for students who could not afford to purchase them.

Little Bear Banjo Hospital donated a Kimberly guitar (my first instrument), which had been in the shop waiting for a good reason to start the repairs and setup necessary to make this thing playable. And Little Bear Banjo Hospital put out the word to local Old Time musicians. An impressive number of local musicians, many affiliated with The Friends of Old Time Banjo (FOB), donated very respectable instruments (including their first instruments) or provided cash support for the purchase of cases, straps and parts.

*Dog was not included in the donation.*

My goal was to make them playable, not pretty. After a month or so of work, on 21 February I finally completed the repair and set up work, wrapped the assembled instruments in cases, bundled them into the car, and with Mary hauled them off to Warrenton (stopping first at a spectacular local clogging event, the Potomac Double Down) for a hand-off to teacher Ben Beasley. I turned over a total of eight playable guitars and three very good learning level banjos, four guitar stands, and cases for all the instruments.

The banjo and guitar community in northern Virginia committed some very positive acts of friendship with these young musicians and potential players in mind. Little Bear Banjo Hospital thanks those people heartily.

The kinds with their instruments.

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