Manchester, NH, May 18, 2018
MANCHESTER It's 9am on a Monday morning and while most people are just getting settled at their desks, 20-year-old Tristan Aho can be found busy at work in the Manchester Community Music School's instrument library refurbishing donated guitars.
He volunteers at the music school two mornings a week, as part of a Youth Transitional Services program through Easterseals New Hampshire. Youth Transitional Services provides individualized, community based programming to help students learn a variety of skills, and gain greater independence. Aho has a passion for music and, in particular, playing the guitar and guitar repair.
When he and his youth support specialist, Angela Adomo, began talking about what direction Aho would like to see his life go in, music was the clear choice. Together, the pair researched what options might be available to him and that's how they found the Manchester Community Music School.
After some preliminary conversations with MCMS Executive Director Judy Teehan, it became evident that Aho's talent with guitar repairs would be a real asset to the music school.
MCMS regularly receives donations of musical instruments - some are ready to play, while others, as Aho puts it, "are in need of a littleTLC."
"We are so lucky to have Tristan sharing his talents with the music school," said Teehan. "He has helped restore many of our donated instruments, but is also taking care of the guitars used by our own music therapists. Most recently, Tristan has expanded his reach into the community by providing repair services to area public school teachers. One thing is for certain, when you see Tristan working with the guitars you know he loves his work."
Aho said he enjoys guitar playing and repair.
"Playing the guitar is a release for me. I can get lost in my music, ignore the world for a while, and when I'm done, things seem better," he said. "Ihe best thing about fixing guitars is knowing that the instruments I repair will give others the opportunity to play and let them experience the gift of music.'
Aho was recently invited to join the MCMS Folk String Orchestra.
This ensemble is open to players of any string instrument looking for an ensemble-playing opportunity. The group is continuing an old-time British-American music tradition with many of the tunes they play having roots reaching back to the music traditions of the British Isles.
Although he admits the music is a bit challenging, the staff of the Music School is confident in Aho's abilities and will be there to help him along the way.
The Manchester Community Music School is located in historic north Manchester. As a nonprofit organization, the school is dedicated to supporting the artistic development of the community through a variety of programs and classes.
For more information, visit www.mcmusicschod.org.