By Chloé Margulis
The Music Department, in conjunction with the Rockley Family Foundation, held a public instrument sale at the Tilles Center during the weekend of Jan. 2, to raise money for new instrument donations to the department. The foundation provided the instruments for the sale, including pianos, keyboards, guitars, and orchestral string instruments. The foundation then used the funds to provide gifts to the music department in the form of new instruments.
The Rockley Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization geared towards promoting music education through music scholarships and donation of instruments. They hold similar sales with other schools and organizations around America in the hopes of enriching the music education and experience of students.
“Tobin Rockley approached the department last spring,” said Jennifer Miceli, the chairperson of the Music Department. “And it was agreed that we would work together to hold an instrument sale at the Tilles Center.” As a result of the sale of the instruments, the Rockley Family Foundation would provide a donation in the form of musical instruments and equipment to the department.
Although Noel Zahler, Dean of the School of Visual and Performing Arts is not sure how much money was raised, the sale was a success. When he walked into the Tilles Atrium on Monday, Jan. 5, a good number of pianos were tagged and waiting to be delivered to locals. One Post student also worked with the foundation at the sale, which, Zahler said, was an opportunity for students to find well-paid work, and also to be a part of a unique experience. Zahler is optimistic that an event like this might occur again in the future. “Anytime we can accommodate a good cause that has benefit for the campus, we should probably do it,” Zahler said.
“I think the sale was a great idea, especially for promoting the Music Department,” said Emily Plunkett, a junior Music Education major. Plunkett, along with Joe Donnolo, a junior Instrumental Performance major, agreed that the sale would be beneficial to the department since new instruments for LIU would mean students would not have to scramble to use and share the few instruments the department already owns.
“Unfortunately for percussion instrumentalists, our school has only one set of the instruments,” Donnolo added..Donnolo hopes the donations to the department will include percussion instruments.
Aside from percussion instruments, Plunkett and Donnolo would like to see more string instruments available in the Music Department. Not only are they small enough to transport to different buildings on campus, they would also give non-music majors and musicians without their own instruments a chance to learn the instruments by taking advantage of our music ensembles and private lessons.
The instrument donations from the Rockley Family Foundation will indeed include string instruments and a very expensive wireless system that “otherwise [the Music Department] wouldn’t be able to purchase,” Zahler said.