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Musical instruments needed for back-to-school drive

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TWC News: Musical instruments needed for back-to-school drive
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Francesca Ramirez loves playing the clarinet and is inspiring her friend Miranda Gibble to learn it too

"I'm going to like play it and learn it and see if I'm really interested, which so far I have been, and then I'll buy one," Gibble said.

But good instruments can be expensive. It’s the biggest obstacle for many aspiring musicians

That's why the Hispanic Alliance for the Arts has partnered with the University of Texas’ College of Fine Arts for the first annual Fall Into Music musical instrument drive.

"We know that a child who has high art experiences is four times as likely to graduate from high school," Ryan Hutchinson with the Hispanic Alliance for the Performing Arts, said.

The group is collecting used instruments for nine different Austin-area music programs.

"If they didn't have to pay for music instruments, they could increase the number of students they serve," Hutchinson said.

With the help of sponsors like KMFA radio, they've collected a few dozen already.

"The spirit lives in these instruments,” KMFA general manager Ann Wilson said. “The spirit of creativity and music—that's what these children are going to experience, some of them for the very first time."

One family even donated an heirloom—a violin from the 1800s.

"It's so rare to find one that's made it this long, that's made it over a hundred and fifty years," Hutchinson said. "We want it to be well-used, every year and so, it's not sitting in a closet, it's being played, it's being loved."

Francesca hopes to move up to bassoon, if one is donated. She says music has become her passion.

"Music is very deep and it's just amazing. There's really no other way to describe it," she said.

The musical instrument drive runs through this Sunday. There are a number of drop off locations for instruments and they also accept cash donations.

For more information, check the web at HispanicAllianceAustin.org.

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