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NOISE, instrument donations
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Posted: Feb 18 2009, 01:04 PM


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Joined: 18-February 09

Sorry about entering this twice. Had trouble posting the first time. You can delete this 1 if you want.

Hi --new to the board. Although this is not really Harry related, I thought you might like to know about a couple of gentlemen from upstate NY who donated lots and time and money to provide 127 instruments to kids at the KIPP New Orleans school back in September. And because this involves music and New Orleans I thought Harry (and everyone here) would appreciate it.

NOISE ships to New Orleans
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Chip Balzer met with Jim Thayer at the storage unit last week to pack up the instruments to ship to New Orleans. Photo by Catherine Sager.

Chip Balzer met with Jim Thayer at the storage unit last week to pack up the instruments to ship to New Orleans. Photo by Catherine Sager.
E.GREENBUSH--Chip Balzer's shipment to New Orleans is ready to roll.

His project New Orleans Instruments for Students and Education has collected 127 musical instruments for a school music department that had its instruments destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
Mr. Balzer and his partner, Jim Thayer of UPS, met last week to prepare the shipment.
The cargo weighs 1,368 pounds and would cost about $1,000 if not for Mr. Thayer.
"Jim is shipping them at no charge," Mr. Balzer said. "That's really the most remarkable piece of this story. He's my hero."
There are recorders, trumpets, trombones, saxophones, clarinets, flutes, harmonicas, guitars, violins, keyboards, accordions, a ukulele and a cornet. There are bongos, cymbals, maracas, tambourines, a Tubano drum, a xylophone, drumsticks, music stands, and instruction books.
NOISE began after Mr. Balzer listened to a story on National Public Radio last May about Keith Hart, music director of the Knowledge Is Power Program, a charter school in New Orleans, which lost its entire inventory to Hurricane Katrina.
Mr. Balzer said he was moved by the plight of the music students.
"Being a musician myself, the story really hit home and got me thinking about what I might do to help," he said. "Keith was sadly captivating as he described the difficulties and challenges of teaching instrumental music without the use of instruments."
He called the music director in New Orleans and offered to donate his drum set.
"As soon as I heard how overwhelmed Keith was by the prospect of receiving my drum set, I couldn't help but offer to collect unwanted or unused instruments from our community and ship them to him."
He approached Mr. Thayer, manager of The UPS Store on Columbia Turnpike, who graciously offered to ship the set for free. His drums have made the voyage.
Then Mr. Balzer began collecting as many instruments as he could, regardless of condition.
Other friends and community member agreed to repair instruments, restringing guitars, transporting packages or making monetary donations.
For more information visit
To contact reporter Catherine Sager email

This post has been edited by lhr on Feb 21 2009, 12:46 PM
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