THE BRONX (PIX11) -- Budget cuts have left the music program at University Heights High School in the Bronx fighting for its life.
It’s lacking in staff, and has instruments in disrepair, including saxophones damaged by flooding.
“They’re just sitting on a shelf right now, because we don’t have the money to repair them,” said Colin Pohl, who started the once thriving program for all grades 14 years ago.
“If a sax has one little leak in it, a kid can’t get the low notes. They get frustrated.”
Amanda Caraballo’s voice is her instrument. The 16-year-old going into her junior year, has been working on her singing, ever since coming to the school from Puerto Rico two years ago.
“The music program, it just makes me grown and grow,” she said.
But the school’s principal is seriously concerned about the department’s future.
“I cannot have students learn to play what we don’t have,” said University Heights High School principal, Hazel Joseph-Roseboro. “We don’t want to be a theory based program where students just learn musical theory.
We want to continue to be a performance based music program.”
After hearing about the school’s troubles, an international sock company called Blacksocks stepped in to help.
It launched a campaign, pairing the company’s new “funky” line of guitar themed socks with the needs of the young musicians, on an Indiegogo crowd-funding site. It hopes to raise $5,000 by Sept. 3, the day before city schools open.
“We’re one of the poorest schools in the district of the South Bronx. We’d be more than grateful,” said high school senior Khalisah Muhammad. “We deserve it. We work hard every year.”