Bring out your horns! And your drums, your violins, your ukes, your classical guitars – even your tubas! Fall Into Music, the annual citywide musical instrument drive, draws to a close Wednesday, and the folks behind are set on collecting 1,000 instruments to distribute to Central Texas youth who might have no other way to learn to play music.
In Fall Into Music's first two years, more than 500 instruments have been channeled to 15 area schools and nonprofits that serve youth. The program has been so successful and grown so quickly that it was inspired to set an admittedly ambitious four-digit goal.
And this year's drive got off to a rousing start on Saturday, Nov. 14, with more than 350 people showing up at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center for the kick-off event. Making the first ceremonial donation was Maestro Peter Bay of the Austin Symphony Orchestra, and that was followed, as you might expect by live music – and lots of it, from the likes of Atash, Gabriel Santiago, the Tiarra Girls, Kenzie Slottow, Steve Parker, Anthropos Arts, Lehman High School Mariachi, Mendez Middle School Orchestra, Austin Soundwaves, and the KIPP Band.
"The performances were fantastic and there was a real collaborative spirit amongst all the professional and student performers," reports Patrick Slevin, director of Austin Soundwaves, a program of the Hispanic Alliance that provides free, quality music education to hundreds of students before, after, and during the school day. The drive got well on its way to the goal with more than 200 donations, but with it lasting only five days, Fall Into Music can't let a day go by without really beating the drum for, well, drums. And percussion instruments of all kinds, as well as saxophones and violas and pretty much anything you can make music with. Any instrument in good condition can be put to use, says Slevin.
And the Fall Into Music folks have made donating so convenient. On their website is a simple form to fill out, and they have six locations all across the city where you can drop off your gently used instrument. They're also happy to accept instrument accessories and books, and if you don't have anything like that to contribute, guess what? They're delighted to take cash. As Slevin says, "Monetary donations go a long way to getting these instruments repaired and offsetting event production costs." And he promises they'll send you a tax receipt on or before Nov. 24.
So why not help some kids make a little noise? Here are the Fall Into Music drop-off locations and their hours Wednesday:
Austin Independent School District Performing Arts Center
1500 Barbara Jordan Blvd, 512/414-4761 OR 512/414-4489
Blackshear Elementary Fine Arts Academy
1712 E 11th St, 512/414-2021
East Austin College Prep MLK Campus
5800 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, 512/287-5050
Trinity Episcopal School
3901 Bee Cave Rd, 512/472-9525
KMFA Classical 89.5
3001 N Lamar Blvd # 100, 512/476-5632
Long Center for the Performing Arts
701 W. Riverside, 512/474-5664
Copyright © 2021 Austin Chronicle Corporation. All rights reserved.