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Wednesday, 12 April, 2000, 15:26 GMT 16:26 UK
Stars instrumental in Music Live
David Bowie
Open armed gesture: David Bowie
A host of top pop stars have joined forces to support the BBC's Music Live event, by donating instruments to wannabe musicians.

The impressive list reads like a Who's Who of rock'n'roll, with David Bowie, Sting, Sir Elton John and The Corrs among those contributing.

The Instrument Amnesty scheme is a joint project involving the BBC and the National Foundation for Youth Music.

A school orchestra
Trumpeting the cause: children to reap rewards
Its aim is to collect around 10,000 instruments and pass them on to schoolchildren to encourage them to take up music.

BBC Music Live is a five-day celebration of live music, which will run from 25-29 May.

The huge festival will feature more than 5,000 events across the UK, including concerts from the likes of Paul Weller and Sir Elton, street festivals and a car horn symphony.

Under the scheme, instruments collected in good working order will be given to local music services and community music groups.


The National Foundation for Youth Music will manage the distribution of the instruments, and will also provide grants for their servicing and re-conditioning.

They will be helped on their way with a saxophone from Bowie, keyboards from Sir Elton and one of Sting's guitars.

The Corrs have donated a drum and the campaign will also benefit from the generosity of Beatles producer Sir George Martin, who has given a French horn, and B*Witched, who have given up a set of fingerbells.

"Talk to people and you'll find they all have, or know someone who has, an instrument that isn't being played -

Gavin Henderson, chairman of Youth Music.
Alan Yentob, director of BBC drama, entertainment and children┐s programming, said: "The Instrument Amnesty is a brilliant initiative which will empower everyone with a love of music to pass that passion on to a new generation of enthusiasts.

"All that's required is a generous spirit and the gift of a working instrument."

Gavin Henderson, chairman of Youth Music added: "I think the Amnesty could be absolutely tremendous.

"Talk to people and you'll find they all have, or know someone who has, an instrument that isn't being played.

"It's probably a dear old friend, but they're never really going to give it what it's worth, which is to bring it to life."

People wishing to donate an instrument can telephone the BBC Audience Line on 08700 100125, or visit the Music Live website.

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See also:

30 Mar 00 | Entertainment
BBC launches live music fest
30 Mar 00 | Education
Plea for unwanted instruments
03 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Glastonbury given green light
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