The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

June 15, 2013

Organizations seek instruments to offer music lessons to youths

JOHNSTOWN — Do you have an old acoustic guitar stored under your bed, a clarinet buried in the closet or a drum kit hidden behind boxes in the garage?

If so, there are some local youngsters who can put them to much better use than simply letting them waste away in storage.

The Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, Christ Centered Community Church and Goodwill Industries of the Conemaugh Valley are currently collecting instruments as part of a Share-the-Music initiative. Children will use the donated instruments in free classes taught by local instructors.

“We’re asking adults to help children if they have a musical instrument,” said Brooke Welsh, the symphony’s executive director.

The program’s public start is scheduled to take place on June 25 at Christ Centered Community Church, located at 531 Somerset St. in Johnstown’s Kernville neighborhood.

JSO Maestro Istvan Jaray, local musician Brandon King and others will spend a few hours, beginning at 5 p.m., teaching children about different instruments. Youngsters will then be able to sign up for music lessons.

“Hopefully, it will pique their interest,” said Cindy O’Connor, Goodwill Industries of the Conemaugh Valley program manager.

Organizers hope participants will not only gain an appreciation for music, but also develop skills that will assist them in other aspects of their education and lives.

“Music helps to stimulate them,” said Rev. Sylvia King, pastor of Christ Centered Community Church.

Anybody interested in donating instruments or money – or youngsters and instructors wanting to participate in the program – can contact Welsh at 535-6738, O’Connor at 536-3536 or Brandon King at 619-1254.

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