Tonawanda News

February 27, 2014

Nonprofit holding instrument drive in town

By Jessica Bagley
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — A local nonprofit is teaming up with a Town of Tonawanda music center to hold a collection that will help provide students with instruments. 

“We are looking to collect instruments — and cash donations for repairs — to get them into the hands of students in our community that maybe wouldn’t have access to them otherwise,” Tracy Shattuck, executive director of Music is Art, said.

The drive will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Instruments and donations can be dropped off at Boulevard Music Lessons, located at 1090 Niagara Falls Blvd., in the Town of Tonawanda, as well as Performing Arts, located at 5334 Transit Road in Depew. 

“We will take instruments everyday, all year long, but having a formal event tends to encourage residents to go in the back of their closets and maybe find that trumpet that nobody is using,” Shattuck said.

The organization has a small office in Buffalo and is in need of locations that can host the drives. That’s where Samuel Marabella, the president of Boulevard Music Lessons and Performing Arts, came in. 

“We are offering up the two locations because the space is not always easy to come by,” he said. “We’re just trying to get an instrument to students who may not be able to afford it otherwise.”

Music is Art has been organizing the drives for 10 years. The last event was held in September, when the nonprofit collected 80 instruments and more than $1,200 in cash. The nonprofit has collected more than $250,000 worth of instruments from manufacturers and Western New York residents.

“They are cleaned and repaired, and given to local students and schools,” a press release from the nonprofit states.

Shattuck said she enjoys being able to give the instruments to the kids. 

“It makes all the hard work of collecting them and getting them to that point worth it,” she said. “The students that are old enough to understand are typically in tears.” 

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000 ext. 4150, or follow her on Twitter @JessicaLBagley.