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WRTI Staff Members Donate 600 Recorders to Philadelphia School District In a Joyous Assembly!

It was a fun school assembly at Andrew Morrison Elementary School, where the principal and music teacher joined with 60 kids, officials from the Philadelphia School District, members of WRTI staff and four musicians from Piffaro, The Renaissance Band for music and conversation about recorders and the importance of music in our lives. 

The staff of WRTI does many things: we work on the radio playing music and telling stories, we interview, photograph and film musicians making music, and share their stories online.  We work behind the scenes to keep the music strong, reaching out to our listeners, geting to know our members.

Because we know that we're all in this together.

Music lovers. Music makers. People who know that music matters.

So, during one recent Member Drive we had an idea: WRTI staff would contribute money to match donations made by listeners. That money would pay for recorders that could be donated to the Philadelphia public schools, for use by the next generation of music lovers and makers.

We did it.

And we handed over more than 600 recorders to the Philadelphia School District, in a ceremony at Andrew Morrison Elementary School on the morning of Wednesday, October 16th, 2019.

Piffaro, The Renaissance Band came, and showed us all the beautiful music recorders can make. They played Sumer is cumin (14th century) on plastic recorders, similar to the recorders we donated.

Joan Kimball, co-founder and artistic director of Piffaro, talked about why she loves the recorder, and several kids —Dayzah Mills (5th grade), Natalia Warriner (5th grade), Kevin Estevez (7th grade) —came to the front to participate in the demonstration.

Music teacher Dionne Marsh talked about the music program, and the exciting plans for a recorder ensemble!

To close out the program, Piffaro brought out their BIG recorders - gleaming wood and sized from small to very large —playing from Tylman Susato's 1551 collection of dances.

For those of us from WRTI, it was an awesome assembly, filled with laughter, wonder, joy and possibility—what sharing music is all about!

Susan writes and produces stories about music and the arts. She’s host and producer of WRTI’s TIME IN online interview series, and contributes weekly intermission interviews for The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert series. She’s also been a regular host of WRTI’s Live from the Performance Studio sessions.