Musical instruments sought to aid victims of Southern storms


Sean Barry is at it again. The musical instrument aficionado, repairman, and humanitarian, profiled by Tresca Weinstein (along with his wife, Claudia Barry, and her mother, renowned opera singer/coach Phyllis Curtin) in the story “In Tune” in the Nov/Dec 2010 issue of Berkshire Living, is once again at the forefront of a rescue effort to aid musicians – and broken hearts – hurt through natural and manmade disasters.

This time around, Barry is reaching out to aid musicians who fell victim to the recent tornados and storms that devastated portions of the American South, losing their musical instruments, and hence their livelihoods, to the path of destruction that lie in their wake. Through his organization, Heartstrings, Barry is soliciting donations of musical instruments and financial help (with which to buy instruments) to replace those lost in the recent disaster.
As Barry recounts, “Recognizing that tragedy robs people of not only life but also the musical means to add color and meaning to that life, Heartstrings was developed to replace some of the instruments lost in Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Since then, Heartstrings has used donated instruments and funds (with which we buy instruments) to replace musical instruments of all kinds and levels for those in need, whether because of natural disaster or poverty. Instruments have been donated to twenty states and to Asia and Africa as well, and have come from individuals as well as from large manufacturers and corporations.”
“While funds will be urgently needed to replace shelter, food, medicine and clothing for those affected by the recent tornadoes, countless musical instruments have been destroyed, irreparably damaged or lost. And for those who make music, these losses can spell the difference between life worth living and mere existence. Heartstrings will answer this need as best we can, traveling south in the late spring with as many instruments as we can transport. Donations are urgently needed of instruments in good playable condition. If you have one that you can spare, we will find someone who will treasure it.”
To make a donation or for further information, please contact Sean Barry at , on Facebook (search for Sean Barry or try this link: ), or by email at



Photos by Scott Barrow

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