Coming to Vancouver, May 29: The Recycled Orchestra

Sunday, May 29, 2016
7:00 - 9:30 pm
Vancouver Playhouse
660 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, BC

This May 29, Instruments Beyond Bordersa registered society that supports music education in disadvantaged communities at home and abroad, will host a Spring Benefit Concert fundraiser. There, the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, Paraguay (whose award-winning documentary Landfill Harmonic's trailer can be watched above) will be performing the Vancouver Playhouse (660 Hamilton Street). Other notable groups will also be performing, including Vancouver’s Borealis String Quartet, beat boxing string trio Infinitus, the all female owned and operated Luciterra Dance Company, and much more! Another highlight of the night will be the performance of Saint James Music Academy Orchestra, a school for inner-city children with limited or no access to musical education.

What's interesting about the Recycled Orchestra is the idea that junk in the landfills can be crafted into well-functioning musical instruments. It all started when environmental engineer Favio Chávez was working at a landfill.

"Chávez got to know these kids and their families over 8 years ago while working on a waste recycling project at the landfill of Cateura. In this area more than 40% of children don’t finish school because their parents need them to work. Being an environmental engineer but with a musical background, one day he decided to help the children by teaching them music lessons. The idea was simply to keep the kids from playing in the landfill...

...Eventually, parents began to see that playing music was keeping their kids out of trouble, some even reclaiming children they had previously abandoned.

Soon there were more children wanting lessons than there were instruments, so Chávez and Nicolas “Cola,” one of the garbage pickers, experimented with making some out of recycled materials from the landfill. String and wind instruments are made with oil tin cans, forks, bottle caps, and whatever is around....

The Orchestra has grown from just a few musicians to over 35. Their recent fame have peak the interest of the families and children of the community in such way, that many children are now enrolling for music classes. The music school of Cateura, does not have their own building yet, but teaches music and how to build recycled instruments to more than 200 kids of the landfill."

Read more about the Recycled Orchestra here.

And where do the proceeds from the Spring Benefit Concert go you ask? According to Instruments Without Borders website:

"The proceeds will again go to the Saint James Music Academy and the Landfill Harmonic. 

The funds for the Landfill Harmonic will provide scholarships for the older students to enable them to continue with their education and their involvement with orchestra. As the Landfill Harmonic is expanding, the older students become part of the teaching staff and the administration.  Without scholarships these students would most likely have to quit their education and get menial jobs to help support their families. Saint James Music Academy will use the funds to purchase instruments and for operation expenses. 

Your donated musical instruments, in working condition, can bring hope and change into the lives of aspiring young musicians. 

Our instrument depots are:

Tapestry Music, 3607 West Broadway, Vancouver, (604) 736-3036, 

Killarney Secondary School, 6454 Killarney Street, Vancouver, (604) 713-8950.

Cheques towards the purchase of used instruments should be made out to “Instruments Beyond Borders” and mailed to Tapestry Music, 3607 West Broadway, Vancouver, V6R 2B8"

Get more details on the event and tickets here.

Still skeptical as to whether garbage can make great music? Watch some of their videos below!

Landfill harmonic - La armonía del vertedero - Orquesta de Instrumentos Reciclados de Cateura

More videos:

"Cello reciclado homenajea a Rostropovich en Kronberg, Alemania"

"5º Sinfonía de Beethoven Orquesta de Reciclados Cateura Teatro Carre, Amsterdam Febrero 2014"

Get more details on the event and tickets here.