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Local Music School Brings New Sounds to North Minneapolis

Updated: 03/27/2014 12:16 PM
Created: 03/26/2014 12:10 PM KSTP.com
By: Todd Wilson

Two local teachers say they saw a need for a music school in North Minneapolis, so two years ago - with no budget and no building, but with loads of kids with potential - Hopewell Music Cooperative North was founded.

Currently, the school has six teachers and 127 students. About half of the students are taught for free while the others pay reduced fees based on income.

Jaette Carpenter recently rehearsed with eighth-grader Amani Clark. Carpenter sang, perhaps, the best known Cuban song, "Guantanamera," while Clark played the guitar.

Amani's interest in instruments started in second grade. Now she plays the piano, clarinet and guitar, but the piano is her favorite. "I guess it just makes me feel good and happy and just excited," Amani said.

To develop her skills, Amani's mom enrolled her in music lessons at Hopewell Music Cooperative.

Carpenter and Ellie Fregni founded the program in 2012.

In their first year they had a $12,000 budget, last fiscal year they worked on a sum of $26,000, and this year the budget has jumped to $200,000 thanks to a private donation.

The instruments are donated for students who need them, and when it comes to instrument repairs, they turn to friends and relatives.

"I ask around, I beg around, I look on Craigslist, I look on eBay," Fregni said.

"It's the one way I can think of to - in the last, whatever, 20 years of my life - give back to North Minneapolis," Carpenter said.

Clark says they've successfully brought music to the Northside.

Hopewell Music Cooperative North is having a Founder’s Day fundraiser Saturday, April 5. It will be held at River of Life Lutheran Church at 2200 Fremont Ave. N. Doors open at 6 p.m. The theme of the fundraiser is " Music For All."

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