Mar 14, 2013 10:19 AM by Samantha Ptashkin
TUCSON- Name an instrument and 15-year-Old Krystal Escarcega probably plays it.
"I primarily play alto sax, but I know how to play flute, piano, a little bit of guitar and a little bit of trumpet," Escarcega says.
She's a music aficionado who for the past three summers has fine-tuned old skills and learned new ones through the Tucson Summer Music program. "Through this program I took lessons for the flute, the guitar and trumpet," Escarcega says.
The non-profit provides one free 30-minute music lesson a week, to young adults, ages five to 13, from low-income families. "The first year we had 11 kids, the second year we had 17 kids and then last year we had 55 kids," says the program's founder, Shelby King.
This summer King expects even more students. "Due to budget cuts in the schools, fine arts programs are the first to go in terms of cuts," King says. "Not only that, but families are having trouble covering the costs of music lessons for their children."
To keep up with the demand the program is holding a Spring Cleaning Instrument Drive during the month of March. "Instrument rental for two months is usually $40 to $50, so that's $40 to $50 saved per student," King says.
Escarcega says she is grateful for the lessons. This summer she plans on volunteering as a teacher. She just hopes a lack of instruments doesn't force the program to scale back.
New or used instruments can be dropped off at three Tucson Fire Stations during business hours:
S Fire Central Pl
Tucson Arizona 85701
Fire Station 7
4902 E Pima St
Tucson Arizona 85712
Fire Station 9
6375 E Eastland St
Tucson Arizona 85711
A tax-exempt status can be found on an intake form located at the Fire Stations.
If you would like to make a cash or check donation, email King at: Shelby@tucsonsummermusic.com or give her a call at: (520) 241-9545.