It’s a string thing

Char­lie A’court forms Stringathon to ben­e­fit school mu­sic pro­grams

Truro Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - BY LYNN CURWIN

Blues man Char­lie A’court has de­cided to help stu­dents learn­ing gui­tar in high school pro­grams get in tune.

Char­lie A’court looked over the boxes and boxes of gui­tar strings he had stored in his home and won­dered how they could ben­e­fit oth­ers.

Re­call­ing his school days gave him the an­swer.

“When I was at Cen­tral Colch­ester Ju­nior High, I would go into the band room and play gui­tars,” he said. “A lot of teenagers were us­ing those gui­tars. The oils from their hands were hard on the strings, and a lot of strings were bro­ken dur­ing tun­ing at­tempts. Buy­ing new strings could get ex­pen­sive.”

A’court has or­ga­nized Stringathon, a pro­gram that col­lects strings for gui­tars and ukule­les and gets them to stu­dents.

“Af­ter I be­came a pro­fes­sional mu­si­cian I would com­pletely change the old strings and keep a sec­ond set in case I hap­pen to bust a string dur­ing the show. I ended up with a lot of in­com­plete sets. They were per­fectly us­able strings, just mis­matched and there were boxes of them.

“I thought there must be other gui­tar play­ers do­ing the same thing.”

He reached out to other mu­si­cians, stores, and man­u­fac­tur­ers, and put to­gether sets of gui­tar and ukulele strings for schools. He’s made de­liv­er­ies to Cen­tral Colch­ester Ju­nior High, Red­cliff Mid­dle School, and sev­eral school in the HRM.

“Right now, Stringathon is a oneper­son op­er­a­tion, but I’d like to see it grow,” said A’court. “Mu­sic helped me in a lot of ways while I was grow- ing up. It helped me de­velop so­cial skills and ex­plore emo­tions, and gave me con­fi­dence.”

He’s de­vel­oped a part­ner­ship with Mar­itime Bus, which al­lows peo­ple to drop off strings at bus de­pots and have them de­liv­ered to him free of charge. More in­for­ma­tion on Stringathon can be found on­line at www. stringathon.ca, on Face­book at www. face­book.com/stringathon/ or by email­ing [email protected] or call­ing 902-877-1076.

CON­TRIB­UTED

While on tour in Aus­tralia, Char­lie A’court, left, was pre­sented with some strings by Aussie blues mu­si­cian Lloyd Spiegel.

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