TRAVERSE CITY — Local strings students trying to raise money for their performance at the Kennedy Center this spring are getting a little help from their friends.
Detroit Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Yoonshin Song and three other DSO musicians posed with their violins for a 2014 instrument calendar that is being sold as a fundraiser for the Traverse City Central High School orchestra trip. The calendar also features a harp and several string basses owned by the school and shots of the two strings groups that will make the March trip to Washington.
The fine violins, three of which are also pictured individually, are on loan to the DSO musicians from Traverse City financial consultant and violin collector Jim Bruno. Bruno’s daughter, Lauren, plays violin with Central’s Philharmonic Strings and will be among the strings students performing at the Kennedy Center as part of the four-day Capital Music Festival featuring high school orchestras.
“There is a tremendous amount of interest in old instruments,” said Bruno, who offered to use his contacts to help the school’s orchestra director, Ellen Boyer, create the calendar. “I thought, ‘Why not get instruments with DSO people because I have four of my instruments on loan with them, excluding the bow Yoonshin uses.’”
The violins include a 1707 Vincenzo Rugeri made in Cremona, Italy; an 1859 Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume made in Paris; and a 1902 Leandro Bisiach made in Milan. Information about the instruments and their makers, as well as certificates of authenticity for the Rugeri and a Eugene Sartory bow, also owned by Bruno, appear alongside the images.
“Most calendars have a very cursory description, but I thought, ‘We have the room, let’s talk a bit about the maker,’” Bruno said. “Let’s make it informative and fun.” Documents related to the testing and authenticating of high-end instruments are important for insurance, sales and other purposes.
Bruno has been buying fine violins and bows and putting them into the hands of musicians who need them since the early 1990s, when he lent his first to a strapped Polish student studying at Interlochen Arts Academy. Since then he has bought and loaned instruments to players in the DSO, Houston Symphony, San Francisco Symphony and New York City Ballet.
“They’re all over the place,” said Bruno, who plays piano rather than violin.
Boyer said the instrument calendar is one of two that were created to help pay for the $1,000-per student cost of the orchestra trip. The other features strings students.
The calendar sells for $10 at Central’s main office and by calling or emailing Boyer at 933-3663, email@example.com.
“If they all would sell we would get about $1,400, so the sale would support a student or a student-and-a-half,” Boyer said.
Bruno said the one-of-a-kind calendar is a way to support his daughter’s senior year activities by offering “something probably no one else in the class would be able to do.”
“When something like this (trip) happens, I think parents have to step up to the plate,” he said. “I thought the calendar would create buzz, it was interesting. For music lovers and people who appreciate classical music and top quality orchestras, I don’t think this will happen again.”
Local man's collection featured in instrument calendar