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Sharing music, one instrument at a time: Marquette Music Pantry to host giveaway

Three of a unique collection of 14 tiny musical instruments made by the Otomi Indians of Mexico and owned by Arthur L. Reimer, of Inglewood, Calif., in the palm of Reimer’s hand on April 10, 1952. They include a banjo, a guitar with intricate mother-of-pearl design on its back and a violin with bow. Made of native wood, they measure about 2 inches in length and weigh just less than ¼ of an ounce. Even the pegs are split to receive the strings in this case fine threads. The Otomi Indians live near Ixmiquilpan, Mexico. Reimer, a high school music department chairman, has been making trips to Mexico for the past eleven years to record and translate Mexican Indian songs and chants. There are 51 Indian tribes in Mexico and he has visited seven, collecting some 50 songs, he said. (AP Photo/Don Brinn)

MARQUETTE — Music is something that unites humanity, no matter what backgrounds people come from.

Playing music is a skill and craft that is perfected lesson by lesson, note by note.

But if you’re on a limited budget, spending money on a $500 electric guitar is not always an option.

That’s why the recently formed Marquette Music Pantry is getting ready to host its first instrument giveaway.

The Marquette Music Pantry will host an instrument giveaway from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday at Superior Culture along Third Street in Marquette.

This is the first instrument giveaway event the organization has held.

Marquette Music Pantry co-founder Noah Bauer said they now have enough instruments accumulated over the past two months to launch the efforts.

Donations have come through the community via phone calls and social media with a variety of instruments from violins to a banjo donated.

“I’m hoping for some people who weren’t able to attain instruments in the past to finally get them,” Bauer said.

The instruments will be given away on a first-come, first-serve basis, he said.

As people are trying out instruments, they can listen to live music from 7 to 7:30 p.m. by local musicians Zoe Maki and Brady Skewis, who are part of the band Cosmic Sans.

So far, the pantry has gathered four violins, one tenor banjo, one guitar and a dulcimer.

Though the event is scheduled until 10 p.m., Bauer said people should try to get there by 7 p.m. in order to a better pick of the instruments.

Bauer “spit-balled” the idea to Nicklas Johnson, who founded Music For All Kids, and the idea just took off from there, he said, adding that the main goal is “spreading music.”

“Music is such a powerful thing and it brings people together and it can help a person find passion and find purpose,” Bauer said. “It’s something to help them along the way.”

To donate unused instruments or musical accessories, contact the Marquette Music Pantry either at 906-235-0995 or 906-286-0516, or emailing mqtmusicpantry@gmail.com.

Jackie Jahfetson can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. Her email address is jjahfetson@miningjournal.net.

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