JAMAICA, OCTOBER 2011

Ute Zahn says...

"I have just returned from my first "mission" to Kingston, Jamaica, with Martin Nitsche and Minneapolis archetier Jesse Berndt. We were there at the Invitation of Immaculate Conception High School, as well as the Jamaican Youth Orchestra.

ICH has a strong music and performing arts program. Students are selected on the basis of talent and merit and come from a variety of backgrounds.

The Jamaican Youth Orchestra was started two years ago, specifically with the mission to research the effect of participating in music on the behaviour of children from troubled neighbourhoods.

In our three days there, we worked our way through a pile of instruments and bows, but more importantly, were able to spend time with the youngsters and their teachers. Their interest and appreciation was truly heartwarming.

We also came away with a sense of the enormous need for more -- more information, more instruction, better access to quality supplies and instruments. We made connections with people from all over the Caribbean region who expressed a wish for us to come to their countries, too. We hope we can -- the challenges are great, but so was the warmth of the welcome we received.

In the meantime, I am working on getting LSF registered as a US non-profit -- watch this space!

Bill Scott and I are also still working on planning the South Africa trip.

If you would like to find out more about LSF or are interested in making a donation, please visit their web site luthierssansfrontieres-lsf.org.

If you would like to help out with my trip to Cuba directly, please send a check made out to:

LSF USA
House of Note
7210 Minnetonka Boulevard
St Louis Park, MN 55426

I would like to thank the following people and companies for donations:

  • The Coda Bow company in Winona, MN for a donation of bows
  • My coworker, Jeff Anderson, for the donation of a bow he made
  • The Dick company in Metten, Germany, for a donation of tools
  • Lisbeth Butler at the Red Wing Instrument Repair Course for her offer of help with bow rehairs
  • The Wagman Primus Group for a donation of bow hair
  • Eugene Holtier, luthier, for a donation of tone wood
  • L'Archet Brasil for a generous donation of bows
  • Arcos Brasil for the donation of a beautiful cello.