Working in conjunction with the Zambian High Commission in Ottawa and the Minister of Education in Zambia we have determined that it would be best if our instrument donation coincided with the start of the school term in September. Rather than disrupting the music departments by introducing a full array of instruments midterm, this way the students and teachers can start a fresh curriculum with their new orchestra in place.
Taking shipping time into consideration we will be sending two large crates of gear by sea, departing Ottawa on July 15th. This extra time presents us with the opportunity to collect more scores and educational material, more time to deal with the bureaucratic challenges of shipping a half-tonne of donated instruments to inland Africa, and a chance to collect even more instruments and have them serviced for the kids in Zambia.
The next few months will also give us more time for fundraising. We have collected just over $2,000 so far through our benefit concert and paypal donations, which represents well over half of our needs. If you can help IFA financially, please click the “How To Help” tab at the top of this page.
We certainly have received a wealth of instruments through the kindness of so many, and we'd like to extend our heartfelt thanks to those that have donated. We have easily collected enough to outfit three Zambian schools and have nearly enough for a fourth school, so keep those donations coming!
While we still have not acquired any oboes or cellos (and we would be very happy to receive some!), our focus now is on collecting full band scores. Playing music together in an ensemble is a very important part of the musical process, and performing concerts is the ultimate goal of any school concert band, and for that they will need ensemble scores.
If you have any suggestions on how we could acquire ensemble scores for beginner and intermediate concert bands please let us know via the Contact page.
In May, 2012 Ottawa-based music teacher and guitar player Todd Snelgrove found himself near the end of his vacation in Zambia and looking to donate his travel guitar to someone who may need it. The first school that he walked into had not a single functioning musical instrument despite having 300 students enrolled in music classes. Later that year, Instruments For Africa was born.
Instruments For Africa collects musical instruments of all kinds, stands and accessories, sheet music and instructional material from people like you. Have a trumpet or clarinet you're not using? We know some kids that would love a chance to give music a try. Everything is inspected and serviced prior to shipping so don't worry if your instrument hasn't been played in a while; if it can be made playable we'll get it to Africa.
Our first mission is to fully outfit the Linda School in Livingstone, Zambia with an orchestra of instruments. We are nearing our goal and with a wide variety of instruments coming in we have expanded our scope to equip at least three Zambian schools with our first shipment.