There are over 1,000 musical instruments owned by The School District of Philadelphia that cannot be played because they are broken and there is no available budget to fix them. Symphony for a Broken Orchestra is a city-wide effort initiated by Temple Contemporary in partnership with the School District of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Orchestra, The Boyer College of Music & Dance, the Curtis Institute and numerous professional/amateur musicians throughout the city. Together, these hundreds of musicians performed a unique composition in December 2017 that was written specifically for the sounds these instruments can only make in their broken state. This once in a lifetime arrangement was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang to unite generations of Philadelphia musicians and audiences in support of music education for our public schools.
Following the performance, Temple Contemporary, in collaboration with instrument repair professionals throughout the region, are repairing all of the fixable instruments and returning them back to the public schools they came from in the fall of 2018. Instrument repair kits will also be installed in every public school offering instrumental music classes, allowing any minor repairs to be fixed in the future.
Major support for Symphony for a Broken Orchestra is provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from the Barra Foundation and hundreds of people like you who have decided to become part of the solution and adopt an instrument. Temple Contemporary is part of Tyler School of Art at Temple University.
Many thanks to the musicians who tested the broken instruments with Found Sound Nation and collected their unique sounds:
Adam Abramson, Aiden, Alex Vogelsong, Alyssa Almeida, Andy Thierauf, Ardath Belzer, Ben Mulholland, Carlos Santiago, Christopher Marianetti, Colleen Law, Connor Przybyszewski, Dan Blacksberg, Daniel Nosheny, David Fishkin, Elena Moon Park, Elliott Levin, Emily Schuman, Emma Method, Eric Derr, Erica Corbo, Jay Krush, Jeffrey Ferguson, Jeremy Thal, Jesse Kudler, Joshua Machiz, Joshua Neale, Julie Lipson, Justin Walcroft, Katelyn Cyril, Kevin Vu, Koofreh Umoren, Laura Neuman, Martin Ventura, Matthew Engle, Mel Gervasio, Mick Ricereto, Patrick Oberstaedt, Pete Angevine, Steve Davit,Tessa Harrison, Tom Kraines, Tracy Nguyen, Tyler Illis, Veronica Jurkiewicz, Wilson Shook, Zachary McKenna, Zephyr Kremer, Zubin Hensler