By Brendan Lai-Tong
“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure“. It’s likely that you have heard, or even used this saying at some point. As easy as it is to use this phrase, seldom does it take on such a literal meaning like the story of the Recycled Orchestra. The orchestra is comprised of impoverished children from Cateura, Paraguay who have dedicated themselves to making music on instruments made out of only bits and pieces of trash. These instruments, gracefully constructed by director Favio Chavez and luthier Nicolas “Cola” Gomez, were made from objects found in the landfill close by. A film/documentary, Landfill Harmonic, will feature the orchestra.
Under the direction of Chavez, the orchestra has grown to include many children from poverty stricken families. The orchestra has provided these children with the opportunity to learn a great form of art, and has helped keep the children off of the streets. Please check out the video below as well as visit their Kickstarter page.
One of the most important things to point out is that the orchestra is accepting musical instrument donations. If you have an instrument that you know won’t be used, we encourage you to donate to the group. The information below was pulled from their kickstarter page:
We have set up an instruments bank in Phoenix, AZ. We would gladly receive your instrument here and given the opportunity, send it to the Orchestra. Also, we would like to let you know that since this project has touched so many people in different parts of the world, the orchestra is looking forward to institute similar programs in other communities around the globe. Therefore, your instruments could end up in the hands of a child in Haiti, or Kenya. If your feel okay with this, please feel free to send the instrument to the following address: The Landfill Harmonic Project | Eureka Productions inc. | 503 W. Julie Dr. | Tempe, AZ 85283
Brendan Lai-Tong is the Assistant Marketing Manager at Sheet Music Plus and holds degrees in trombone performance from University of Miami and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.