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You can donate old instruments to young musicians during jazz fest

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Adobe Stock

If you have an old musical instrument laying around, you can put it to good use by donating it during the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival this week.

The annual musical instrument drive, hosted by the Rochester Education Foundation and M&T Bank, is back after two years of COVID-19 cancellations. Since it began, over 3500 instruments for students in the Rochester City School District have been collected.

Volunteer Josie Bradley is a teacher with the district. She said the drive gives kids access to music and experiences that they might not have otherwise.

“It gives them an opportunity to develop math skills, ELA skills, it gives them a chance to have something to grow with as they go through high school and graduate," Bradley said.

She adds that music can also become a lifelong experience.

All instruments will be accepted. The instruments most needed are trumpets, alto saxophones, violins, violas and cellos.

Rochester Education Foundation’s assistant director, Sarah Johnston, says this year they are being more intentional collecting instruments that the district has told them they need.

"We’re making sure that we're being good stewards as a nonprofit," Johnston said. “Asking what the need is and then trying to find and fill that need instead of just making a giant collection of instruments.”

Volunteers will be collecting donations during the Jazz Festival on Jazz/Gibbs Street.

For those who are interested in donating to this collection, but are unable to attend the Rochester Jazz Festival, organizers have set up

April Franklin is an occasional local host of WXXI's Weekend Edition.
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