Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Northwest School of the Arts needs instruments, donations

Northwest School of the Arts (NWSA), an arts magnet in Charlotte-
Mecklenburg Schools, will begin a drive April 1 to collect gently used
or new musical instruments for students at the school who cannot
afford them. The school's instrument drive, called "Recycle the Gift
of Music," will end May 5.

At present, students must rent or buy instruments from area music
stores in order to participate in the band or orchestra. There are
students at the school who want to participate, but cannot because
their parents can't afford instruments and the school does not have an
extra supply. The school needs financial resources to purchase new
instruments or to fix those that are damaged, so NWSA is also seeking
financial donations during the drive.

Dr. Barry Bowe, the principal at NWSA, says he's looking forward to
the day when his school has enough instruments so that every child can

"It's terribly sad to see students turned away because their parents
can't afford to rent or purchase an instrument and we can't provide
them with one," said Dr. Bowe. "I want every student to have the
opportunity to experience the gift of music."
Dr. Bowe believes being 'green' can also apply to recycling instruments.

"As we look at ways to conserve resources, recycle and reuse goods,
donating an instrument is also a smart and worthy investment in our

The school needs stringed, wind and percussion instruments. Each costs
about $600, and it costs $200 to repair a damaged instrument. Last
year, NWSA received a $10,000 donation from Fidelity Bank to purchase
larger instruments, such as tubas, cellos and string basses. NWSA
music teachers Michael Sanders and Felicia Sink say that the donation
has already made a difference, and even more students will be helped
by the instrument drive.

"I began playing the violin in the fourth grade and my first early
experiences in the orchestra fostered a passion for music that has
enriched my life," said Sink, who is the orchestra teacher at the
school. "Every interested child should have the opportunity to
discover the joy of music."

New and gently used instruments or financial donations can be brought
to the school (1415 Beatties Ford Rd.) or the CMS Central Learning
Community (324 N. McDowell St.) Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.
until 3 p.m. All donations are tax-deductible and checks should be
made payable to Friends of Northwest.

The school will partner with several local music-related businesses
and arts organizations during the instrument drive. The public may
call 980-343-5500 or e-mail for more

Dr. Bowe knows first-hand the importance of music education. He says
music changed his life.

"Playing my father's trumpet taught me to appreciate and love music.
Music education is sound learning," said Dr. Bowe. "I know the people
of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County are generous, and NWSA is grateful
for and appreciative of their kindness and support to help our kids

Northwest School of the Arts, a county-wide visual and performing arts
magnet school in CMS, has a strong academically-focus curriculum while
encouraging students to develop special talents and passion for
creative and visual arts, theatre, music and dance. More than 1,200
students in grades six through 12 attend NWSA. Of those students,
currently 350 participate in the band or orchestra. Click here for the
school's Web site.