MORIARTY, N.M. (KRQE) – An anonymous donor dropped off a rather large gift to a New Mexico school district this month: 40 guitars for middle schoolers in Moriarty and Edgewood.

“I feel like as if everything floats away. Like playing songs, it makes me focus. It makes me focus on what I want to do now, it helps me bond with my colleagues, and that’s really important to me,” says Evelyn Salberg, a sixth grader at Edgewood Middle school.

Students in the Moriarty-Edgewood School District are getting access to a unique opportunity — to take guitar classes from sixth grade all the way through their senior year.

“I tell people all the time, the program that we have out here is like a gem in the desert. It’s amazing that we have what we have here,” says Justin McMurdo, director of guitar at Moriarty High School. “They could go on and become a professional guitarist if they wanted to. We’ve had a number of students who have gotten full scholarships or very sizeable scholarships to some of the finest conservatories and universities in the country.”


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This program just got a major boost—to the tune of 40 brand new donated guitars—with a value between nine and ten thousand dollars. It’s an act of generosity which guitar teacher Donovan Perea says he almost can’t wrap his head around.

“I just am blown away by what people in the community are willing to do, and I’m just so thankful that they see what I see in the students who are just—they’re so filled with potential and they can just do anything and I’m glad people see that as well.”

Perea says these new guitars came at just the right time. “For the concert we had guitars that were—students had to wear sleeves because they would just get splinters and all kinds of stuff.” In addition to that, students say some guitars they were using had holes in them making them hard to tune, and scratches.

Students at Edgewood Middle School tell News 13 they’re pretty jazzed about getting this new gear. “We’ll look presentable. And not like we just grabbed a guitar from the dump,” says Kimber Dickerson, eighth grader at Edgewood Middle School.

“This new change in guitar I’m very grateful for. That way we can all play on something new and refurbished,” Salberg says.

“It’ll make a huge difference in the lives of a whole lot of kids and especially at our middle schools for them to get that. It’s just phenomenal,” McMurdo says. “And to me it’s just, amazing. Because somebody else sees what I see in these kids, and they’re just so full of potential,” Perea says.

The superintendent of the district says funding for these types of programs can be difficult to find; making donations like these a big deal. As for where exactly the guitars will go—20 of them are going to Edgewood Middle School, and the other 20 to Moriarty Middle School.