East Bay student musicians collaborate to help Oakland School for the Arts after instrument thefts

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Monday, May 1, 2023
Student musicians collaborate to help Oakland School for the Arts
Students from different East Bay schools came together to help Oakland School for the Arts after $30,000 worth of instruments were stolen.

ORINDA, Calif. (KGO) -- Earlier this year we brought you a story about thieves who had broken into Oakland School for the Arts and stolen $30,000 worth of instruments.

Now there is good news to report. Since that story ran, donors have given more than $40,000 and numerous instruments to help the school.

Sunday the sounds of a saxophone, trumpet, violin and many more instruments could be heard in Orinda. Teenage students from different schools in different cities came together to help an Oakland school.

"We just had a benefit concert to help raise funds for the Oakland School for the Arts," said Jack Becker who is a Boy Scout in Moraga.

RELATED: Oakland students rent, borrow instruments for concert after thieves steal $25K worth of equipment

Becker goes to Campolindo High School in Moraga. For his Eagle Scout project, he wanted to help Oakland School for the Arts, where earlier this year, thieves -- on two different occasions and caught on video -- stole an estimated $30,0000 worth of instruments.

"I wanted to help as much as I could and there's no better way than doing something like this," Becker said.

Collected funds from the benefit jazz concert will go to help Oakland School for the Arts.

And the best part: kids from Orinda/Moraga collaborated with those from Oakland for this performance.

"It was nice of the other band to come out and, ya know, care about what happened to our school," said Magnus Dunn who plays the bass guitar in Oakland.

VIDEO: Thieves steal instruments from Oakland school for 2nd time

Thieves broke into the Oakland School for the Arts for the second time in recent weeks, stealing a several instruments and it was all caught on video.

"I think it's very helpful and makes me very happy, the school very happy, because there are like other people our age in the community of young people who are willing to help other young people," said MJ Santos who is a piano player in Oakland.

Since the instruments have been stolen, donors have come up big. More than $40,000 have been raised and more than 30 replacement instruments have been donated.

And the money brought in will help the school with some of the costs associated with the upgraded security system, refurbishing the donated instruments and more.

It's out with the old surveillance video memories showing the thefts, and in with the new ones of the kids collaborating together.

MORE: 'Every 28 Hours' school play in Oakland creating performance piece based on the Black experience

"It was a lot of fun seeing the other band play and playing together with them," said Milan Stoyanov who plays the trumpet in Moraga.

"I feel like that would probably be my favorite part of today, playing with other people I didn't know," said Luca Parenti who plays the drums in Oakland.

"My band played very loud and organized tunes where theirs is very solo and improvised, so it's very cool seeing the different styles," said Becker.

'We were really moved and inspired when we got the call and these kids want to continue to collaborate even after today which I think also is another good benefit of this," said Steven Borg at Oakland School for the Arts.

Those interested can donate to Oakland School for the Arts here.

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