Bassick Band: The Sequel

Last month, I posted a story about the Bassick High School band.

The underfunded, often overlooking Bridgeport school had finally hired a band teacher: Jon Garcia. He was eager to teach students; they were just as eager to learn.

But the band closet was bare.

Westonite Martha Deegan marched into action. She and Westport opera singer Lucia Palmieri offered to collect instruments languishing in local attics and basements.

Her Sky’s the Limit Foundation said they’d clean them. Norwalk’s AAA Band Rentals — owned by Weston resident Mike Spremulli — agreed to recondition all donations, for free.

A month later, Martha checks in with more good news. So far, over 100 instruments have poured in.

Jon Garcia, Martha Deegan and a few of the many percussion instruments donated to Bassick High School.

“The kids were so impressed to receive brand-new-looking, flawless flutes, trumpets, clarinets and saxophones!” she says.

Sky’s the Limit furnished 10 new saxes, and an assortment of Hispanic percussion instruments — congas, bongos and more — for the jazz band.

Gomez also received an enormous music-scale whiteboard on wheels, for his classroom.

And 72 uniform shirts are coming from Lands’ End for the Christmas concert.

In addition, a group called KEYES is working closely with the students, teachingi them how to play keyboard.

Donations continue to pour in. On Thanksgiving morning, Martha Deegan found this on her front steps.

Looking ahead, Martha envisions an “almost free” space near Bassick that could serve as a dedicated after-school music space for practicing and jamming. She would call it “Bridgeport Harmony.” It could become an umbrella organization for the various groups trying to help sustain arts in the Bridgeport schools.

Meanwhile, there is one more need: a volunteer saxophone player, 4 hours a week.

To follow up on that, the “Bridgeport Harmony” idea — or anything else — email marthadeegan@rocketmail.com.

3 responses to “Bassick Band: The Sequel

  1. Laura G. Nissim

    Thank you Dan for sharing Martha’s good work. She is a wonderful woman who always gives more…And has a bigger than life love and personality when it comes to helping children who have not. She knows I love her and all she does. Thank you Martha for showing people what some good work looks like. You know how to run circles around the village!

  2. What a wonderful follow up to the original story!

  3. Thanks to all. I forwarded the original 06880 post to the Bridgeport Rotary Club. As a result Rotarians made donations to this worthy cause.

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