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Published: April 26, 2018 Author: Staff reports

The Ohio University School of Music is supporting a goodwill project, organized and led by student Will Horner, a music education/trombone student, and School of Music faculty Dr. Lucas Rego Borges and Dr. Andrew Trachsel, director of bands.

The three will travel to Puerto Rico May 2-5 to work with high school and university students in San Juan and Yauco affected by Hurricane Maria last fall. The project was started and developed by Horner, who saw an opportunity to help musicians in need, and asked for assistance from Borges and Trachsel. 

One goal of this trip is to establish a connection with students and teachers in Puerto Rico, as well as assess the need for music education in general, in the hopes that this becomes an even larger initiative for the School of Music and the Ohio University community.

Although plans are still being formed, these three ambassadors of music expect to be involved in concerts, lead masterclasses and teach workshops at Ernesto Ramos Antonini Fine Arts School in Yauco, with Dr. Nitai Pons, Director of Bands, as well as surrounding schools in the area.

In addition to teaching and performance, the three are also planning to help by providing resources, including instruments, music, and supplies to students and programs in Puerto Rico. Instruments have been gathered by Horner, including flutes, clarinets, trumpets, horns, baritones and a tuba. Additionally, the group is gathering donated supplies, including reeds, valve oil, slide grease, mouthpieces, etc., as most of these supplies are purchased by the director, Dr. Pons, personally for distribution to his students.

Support in the form of financial assistance and donations from various organizations has come from the Ohio University College of Fine Arts, School of Music, University Bands, International Studies, Latin America Studies, C.A. House Music, School of Music faculty, and a variety of local business people and supportive individuals. 

Donations are greatly appreciated and will continue to be accepted through the university site, ohio.edu/give. Checks can be made payable to The Ohio University Foundation. Be sure to write “School of Music” on the memo line, and mail to: The Ohio University Foundation, P.O. Box 869, Athens, OH 45701.

Gifts can be made online with a credit card on the site, as well. Click on “Give Now,” and be sure to check the box that says “The fund I want to support isn’t listed above,” and write in “School of Music.”

The trip will be Ohio University’s third direct outreach to Puerto Rico in the wake of the damage wrought by Hurricane Maria. In October, supplies gathered by the College of Health Sciences and Professions were delivered to the island by the University’s airplane. And earlier this month, Innovation Center Director Stacy Strauss went to Puerto Rico to help the commonwealth rebuild its entrepreneurship programs.