17. August 2009 · Comments Off on Stolen Viola · Categories: Stolen Instrument

Claire Garza’s viola stands for good and beauty. She used it to soothe patients in nursing homes and hospitals and to teach music to children.

Someone stole the viola Friday from her Swiss Avenue apartment in Old East Dallas. But maybe the burglar would have reconsidered if he had known how Garza employed the viola.

Garza, 27, said she thinks the thief came in through a locked apartment window. A violin and a DVD player also were stolen, she said.

But the viola, estimated to be worth $30,000, became the focal point.

Garza’s high school viola teacher had sold it to her, and she had used it to play more than 100 concerts in nursing homes and hospitals all over Dallas.

“It was a very special thing to have an instrument that used to belong to my teacher,” she said. “It was heartbreaking for me to have to tell him it got stolen.”

Garza plays for Texas Winds Musical Outreach, a group of professional musicians that tries to help people in the community. She also plays in the Richardson Symphony Orchestra and teaches young musicians through the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Young Strings program, which provides free lessons and instruments to underprivileged first- through fifth-graders.

Garza graduated with bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music and soon helped start a series of educational programs for at-risk children called the Charles Barr Concerts for Head Start. The series is named for her boyfriend, who was killed in a bicycle accident a few years ago.

Garza came to Texas after Barr’s mother, Catherine, offered her a job with Texas Winds.

Garza said the missing viola is precious to her. She just wants the thief to take care of it and return it.

“It was like my voice, and it’s gone now,” she said. “It’s such an unfortunate thing, because it was used to do such good, such uplifting things. It’s just wrong.”

Found here.

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