The violin to the lower right is worth $10,000. The one above it is $200. The bows respectively are $2000 and $25. Most of the value difference is how the instrument and bow can amplify and color sound.
Neither is an antique. Like fine wines, their dramatic differences are best appreciated when compared side by side. In each case proper adjustment is essential.
The two to the left would be worthless discards, were it not for the St. Ignatius workshop. Violin luthier training (not guitar or clarinet) is 3 years and $30,000 with wages to match. Neither is worth the cost of repair and so end up in the trash, or did until we opened our pro bono shop. They will be cleaned, repaired with scavenged parts, and adjusted for best sound because to hand a malfunctioning instrument to an eager new learner is cruel. It is well meaning, no doubt, but to the unknowing students it ends with frustration and defeat.
Tuition free music programs serving low-income populations, struggle to afford repairs. Because of this outreach by St. Ignatius and its student volunteers, instruments in disrepair is no longer an impediment to youth music education.
My deepest appreciation goes out to the D'Addario String Foundation, to Wargaski Violins, and to Peter Seman Violins for their years of support, and to my alma mater for their belief that, together, we can take this project and work wonders.
Class of 1964