As the garagelike door rolled up at the 23rd Street Armory here on Sunday evening, 400 student, amateur and professional musicians paraded in with just a helping of the broken instruments that have spent years languishing in this city’s strapped public school system.
A trumpet was held together with blue painter’s tape. A violin, stripped of much of its body, had been reduced to a silhouette. More than one cello was carried in multiple pieces.
These were the unlikely ingredients of “symphony for a broken orchestra,” a new piece by the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang. It was written as part of a project of the same name to repair more than 1,000 damaged instruments that had been doomed to silence in storage because of severe budget cuts to Philadelphia’s public school music programs.
Robert Blackson, the director of Temple Contemporary at the Tyler School of Art, was the project’s mastermind and said that teachers around the city had been stockpiling the instruments in case the funding to fix them ever materialized. To Mr. Lang, who said in an interview he owes his career to public school music education, those instruments represent “over 1,000 missed opportunities.”
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.