Forty-five fancifully decorated string instruments were auctioned at a special event Saturday in Fuller Lodge.
The Fancy Fiddle Auction was a benefit for the orchestra program in the Los Alamos Public Schools, and is the brainchild of a group of volunteers led by Los Alamos Concert Association Mucial Director Ann McLaughlin and artists who wanted to save the instruments from being destroyed.
All the instruments were owned by the Los Alamos Public Schools and had been loaned or rented to students in decades past. They were in such poor condition that repairs would have been either impossible or far too costly. With a complete renovation of the Los Alamos High School music wing approaching, all the instruments needed to be cleared from the building. The plan was to send them to the local landfill.
McLaughlin and LAHS orchestra teacher Michelle Rosette delivered the violins, violas, cellos and basses to Village Arts Framing where owner Ken Nebel distributed them to local artists. Those artists worked their magic and donated their work back to the project.
The Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation hosted Saturday's auction and place the proceeds in a fund that will be used to purchase much-needed equipment for the LAPS orchestra program.
More than 400 young musicians from elementary through high school participate in the string instruction the LAPS orchestra program provides. The list of needs for that program includes everything from a baby grand piano to sound and recording equipment to metronomes.
Local auctioneer Jeff Favorite was the emcee and The Bridge, a Los Alamos High School chamber ensemble, entertained at Saturday's event.