BANGOR, Maine — The next international cello virtuoso may be sitting in a local school unable to nurture his or her talent because there aren’t enough large stringed instruments to go around.
To remedy that situation, a group of musically inclined lawyers in Bangor has organized a concert tonight in Brewer to raise funds to buy cellos and basses for the orchestra program in the Bangor schools.
Maximum Blue, a bluegrass duo made up of lawyer Jeffrey Silverstein on guitar and his 13-year-old son, Max Silverstein, on fiddle will play. A father-daughter duo, Bangor lawyer Fred Costlow and 11-year-old Ray Costlow, an accomplished singer, also will perform.
“A couple of parents who have children who play instruments mentioned they’d like to do something for the program,” William Bell, the orchestra director for the Bangor School District, said Thursday. “The first thing that sprang to mind was the need to be able to make instruments available to students who can’t afford them. Because of the economy, the demand for them is growing. We’d like to meet that demand as much as we can.”
Cellos and basses cost $800 to $1,000 each, according to Bell, compared to violins, which can be purchased for half that. If well cared for, instruments can last 15 to 20 years, he said.
An average of 65 students in grades four though 12 participate each year in the orchestra program, according to Bell.
The concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. today at Next Generation Theater, 39 Center St., Brewer. The cost is $5 person, $10 for a family.