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South Neighborhoods
Sights set on cello: Musician seeks to replace instrument to tune of $40,000-$70,000

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

By Sarah Zablotsky, Tri-State Sports & News Service

Professional musical instruments are not cheap.

Ask Duquesne University graduate student Grainne Hope, who is in need of a new cello to continue her studies and performances.

Hope's cello, which was constructed around 1890, has been damaged by the ravages of time and performance. New cellos cost between $40,000 and $70,000, and to repair one properly can cost between $15,000 and $18,000.

A repair is probably out of the question for Hope, a native of Ireland, since her instrument has also been damaged by the atmospheric conditions on airplanes in travels to performances around the world. Besides, repairing a string instrument can be risky since there is no guarantee the sound it makes will be unaffected by the repairs.

Hope is pursuing a master's of music degree in performance at Duquesne. Since last summer, she has been raising money to buy a new instrument by giving concerts in the United States and Ireland.

She was scheduled to arrive in New York City yesterday from Ireland, and on Sunday will perform with her venerable cello at the Carnegie Music Hall in the Carnegie Library of Homestead.

Members of the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Chamber Music Society will perform as well, along with faculty members of Duquesne and Carnegie Mellon universities and Burk's Irish Dancers. A reception will follow at the Bulgarian-Macedonian National Educational and Cultural Center in West Homestead.

Patricia French, president of the cultural center, said that some of the center's members know Hope and understand the difficulty exchange students can have while living and studying in the United States.

"She really needs a new cello," French said.

Chinese and silent auctions will be held. French said that many have donated items to be auctioned, including local painter Zornitza Kozarova, who gave an icon worth $400 to the silent auction.

Ticket prices are $20 for the concert and $35 for the concert and reception. For more information, contact Joanne Karaczun at 412-343-9749.

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