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Shepherdstown Non-Profit Donates Shoulder Rests to North Middle Orchestra

Members of the Martinsburg North Middle School string orchestra can play their instruments more comfortably now, thanks to a generous donation from a non-profit organization.

The Friends of Music donated two dozen violin and viola shoulder rests made by Kun Shoulder Rest Inc. and are valued at $500. The school’s orchestra director, Daniel Jones, asked for them, saying they were one item needed to complete the instrument inventory.

"This is the 'final piece of the puzzle' for us [because] a quality shoulder rest is a necessary piece of equipment for almost any violinist or violist,” said Jones. “Without a shoulder rest, young players cannot develop proper posture or playing technique and they can even be at greater risk of repetitive strain injuries as they play over time."

The donation is part of a Friends' grant program to support music education in Berkeley and Jefferson County schools, which involve instruments and music supplies not covered by regular school budgets. The Friends also provide scholarships to talented local students who are pursuing degrees in music.

The Friends of Music organization is a Shepherdstown-based, non-profit group founded in 1999 to support and promote musical excellence. It supports the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra, the only professional classical music orchestra in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, and one of only three such orchestras in the state. Full information about the Friends is available at www.friendswv.org.