World-Renowned Youth Orchestra Plays Instruments Made of Actual Garbage | NBC Bay Area

World-Renowned Youth Orchestra Plays Instruments Made of Actual Garbage

"This is the reason music should stay alive."



    A internationally-renowned youth orchestra plays instruments made of trash from a landfill. Kathy Vara reports for the NBC4 News at 5 on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. (Published Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016)

    One man's trash is another man's trombone. 

    An internationally-renowned orchestra from Cateura, Paraguay, that has played with the likes of Metallica brought the sweet sound of music to East Los Angeles using instruments entirely made of garbage.

    The "Landfill Orchestra" featured in a documentary of the same name straight from a slum in Paraguay are bringing the message to LA that you can achieve great things even when you start with nothing.

    "Who would have ever thought you could make music from recycled items?" said LAUSD music student Kaelee Aguilar.

    LAUSD students, many members of their school's music programs, filled Torres High School in East LA to hear a once-in-a-lifetime performance from the unique youth orchestra.

    The band used oil cans, pots, and old utensils collected from the Cateura landfill to make the instruments. Three million pounds of solid waste are dumped each day at the landfill.

    Cynthia Serbin in the orchestra says she has always loved music.

    "My instrument is made out of pan, to cook bread," she said.

    She plays a violin with a front made out of an old paint can. The back, a baking pan. Wood from pallets form the rest with a fork stabilizing where the strings end.

    It is, to say the least, inspirational.

    The thought of rebirthing the trash into musical treasure caught the attention documentary filmmakers.

    "I love the topic of 'Landfill Harmonic' because it was discovering magic in the most unexpected place, which is a landfill, Julian Penaranda-Loftus, the producer and co-director of the documentary said. "This is the reason a lot of people want to play the violin. This is the reason music should stay alive."

    It is the reason a student from South America can form a bond with a student from East LA, and without speaking a single word, they understand each other perfectly as they play "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" together.

    The documentary "Landfill Harmonic" premieres Friday at the Laemmle Theatre in Santa Monica.