Forgotten instruments are music to ears of street children

ABANDONED instruments can stop gathering dust and make a real difference to some of the world’s poorest children.

Shoreham musician, Richard Durrant, is hoping to send a selection of woodwind instruments to Paraguayan street children.

The father-of-three was on tour in the country’s capital, Asunción, last year.

“While I was there, the art and music college burnt to the ground,” he said. “The manuscripts, all the musical instruments, all gone.

“We watched it all burn, it was terrible. No one was hurt, but it was tragic.”

He has teamed up with a school in Norfolk, New Eccles Hall, which will be sending a group of students to the south American country to build a playground next year.

“I want to give each of them an instrument to take with them,” said Richard.

A nation-wide programme of music, led by Luis Szarán, director of the Asunción City Symphonic Orchestra, offers tuition to more than 35,000 children, but instruments, especially woodwind instruments, are hard to come by.

“There is an awful lot of poverty in Paraguay, a lot of underprivileged kids,” said Richard, who lives on Shoreham Beach.

“There is a fantastic programme of tuition, but no one can afford to buy instruments.”

He urged anyone who had an unwanted woodwind instrument to donate it to the cause.

“I know there are a lot of other charities to support, but I also know there are a lot of instruments sitting around in people’s attics.

“They will be used by kids who have nothing, by street kids. Please give them to these kids, who will absolutely love them.”

Instruments can be dropped off at the Ropetackle Centre, Little High Street, Shoreham.

l Richard is about to embark on a trilogy of shows at the Ropetackle, the first, a recital of Bach and Vivaldi, being tomorrow.

He will be accompanied by Howard Beach on the harpsichord for the technical demanding set.

On October 25, he will give a “retro-futurist” performance of experimental music, complete with projections from Mark Charlton.

“I’m encouraging people the dress up in 1950s sci-fi outfits for that one,” he said, adding among the performances would be Tubular Bells on the ukelele.

A Christmas show, called Winter Solstice, will follow, in December 21.

Supper will be served before each show, though places must be booked.

For tickets, call 01273 453422 or go to