Brass instruments are extremely expensive in Brazil, more than twice the price of instruments in the UK. A big part of the project, then, is getting hold of instruments for the children. All of the instruments in the project are second-hand instruments from the UK which were then either donated or bought cheap on eBay, and taken over by plane.
This Christmas we received a particularly generous donation of instruments from Ridgewood school in Doncaster. The donation came about when John Ellis, director of Doncaster Youth Jazz Association, mentioned the project at one of the band’s rehearsals. Trombonist Rowena Smith, from Ridgewood School, immediately responded that Ridgewood school had some old instruments that had served their purpose at the school, and that might be available for donation. In the end, the school ended up donating 1 euphonium, 3 tenor horns, 1 trumpet, 1 trombone, a glockenspiel, 2 cymbals and 3 clarinets to the project. To buy those instruments in Brazil would be very expensive indeed.
In addition, Rowena also donated an extremely nice second-hand cornet.
Most of the instruments have now made their way to Brazil (thank you to Dave and Shelagh Richardson for helping with this), and the rest will be brought over by friends coming to Brazil for the World Cup. It’s a very generous donation and one that will hopefully make a big difference in the lives of children who would otherwise be very unlikely ever to have the opportunity to play a wind instrument.
Thank you very much Rowena Smith and Ridgewood school!