Charlie A’Court looked over the boxes and boxes of guitar strings he had stored in his home and wondered how they could benefit others.
Recalling his school days gave him the answer.
“When I was at Central Colchester Junior High, I would go into the band room and play guitars,” he said. “A lot of teenagers were using those guitars. The oils from their hands were hard on the strings, and a lot of strings were broken during tuning attempts. Buying new strings could get expensive.”
A’court has organized Stringathon, a program that collects strings for guitars and ukuleles and gets them to students.
“After I became a professional musician I would completely change the old strings and keep a second set in case I happen to bust a string during the show. I ended up with a lot of incomplete sets. They were perfectly usable strings, just mismatched and there were boxes of them.
“I thought there must be other guitar players doing the same thing.”
He reached out to other musicians, stores, and manufacturers, and put together sets of guitar and ukulele strings for schools. He’s made deliveries to Central Colchester Junior High, Redcliff Middle School, and several school in the HRM.
“Right now, Stringathon is a one-person operation, but I’d like to see it grow,” said A’Court. “Music helped me in a lot of ways while I was growing up. It helped me develop social skills and explore emotions, and gave me confidence.”
He’s developed a partnership with Maritime Bus, which allows people to drop off strings at bus depots and have them delivered to him free of charge.