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March Madness 2019

Visiting Luthier tunes up string instruments

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It’s not often string instruments in the public schools get the benefit of expert repair.
But last week visiting string musician expert Paul Bowes set to work tuning instruments at John Gray High School, as well as, those from local primary schools.

They say music is a journey that never ends and a well tuned instrument makes that journey all the more enjoyable.

“If you can’t turn the peg, you can’t tune the string up, you can’t play,” Mr Bowes, a visiting luthier, as he talks about one of close to 100 string instruments he’s repaired at John Gray High School.

He adds, “The idea is just to get them functional for the kids so they can turn the pegs and the new strings. They just need to be able to use the instruments.”

Mr Bowes is on island refurbishing the donated instruments for students and he says it’s clear some are in need of some TLC.

“A lot of this stuff just happens from having no maintenance at all. The humidity really makes this wood move and it just needs attention,” he says.

“We tuned them up and the sound when they started playing was huge, it was amazing,” chimes Fran McConvey, Head of Music at the school.

“West Indian children, I think are just full of music and there is a huge demand from the children they love playing instruments,” she adds.

Adam Johnson, Owner and President of Johnson String instruments, donated his resources to breath life back into the instruments.

“It really gives the kids the opportunity to achieve their highest potential,” Mr Johnson says. Student Daniel Gayle is pleased with the end result.

“Now it sounds more brighter and better,” he says and that makes playing music all the more sweeter.

About the author

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath is a Trinidadian journalist with 18 years media experience with a strong background in print with her most recent stint at The Cayman Reporter. She has a BA in Mass Communications, as well as, an Associate degree in Journalism and Public Relations.

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