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Some city schools shared just 7 instruments, until the gift of music

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Posted at 5:36 PM, Nov 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-01 17:43:29-04

RICHMOND, Va. –  Richmond students have received the gift of music, thanks to some string-pulling and fundraising through a spring festival.

The RVA East End Festival: The Gift of Music, was a three-day event which raised over $100,00 in proceeds to support music initiatives in East End schools.

Five area schools in Richmond’s East End have now received instruments purchased by the funds raised through the festival, with three additional schools set to receive their instruments soon.

Students from Bellevue Elementary, Chimborazo Elementary, Fairfield Court Elementary, George Mason Elementary, and Woodville Elementary now have the opportunity to learn how to play an instrument and play in string orchestra ensembles.

Previously, there were only seven instruments that were shared among East End students.

Over $100,000 in proceeds were raised from May 6-8 by festival partner Bon Secours Richmond Health System and a host of other sponsors, along with 7th District Councilwoman Cynthia Newbille, who helped spearhead the effort.

“Providing a positive impact to how individuals grow and develop is paramount to Bon Secours’ commitment of creating communities of health, hope and well-being,” said Mark Gordon, CEO of Bon Secours Richmond East. “We are committed to doing more than providing access to quality health care.”

“Schools went from seven instruments among them, to enough instruments for a full string orchestra in each school – giving hundreds of new students each year the opportunity to learn and grow together as they experience the power of music,” said Richmond Symphony Executive Director David Fisk.

The symphony’s Big Tent anchored the festival.

Additional instruments and music related equipment will also be purchased for Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School, Armstrong High School and Franklin Military Academy as part of this project.