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This is a place where our classical hosts, interns and artists can share their stories, viewpoints and point of view on topics related to classical music and the arts in general. Come back to this page often to read the latest and share your comments.

Documentary about providing musical instruments to students in LAUSD wins Oscar

Young African America girl holding violin smiles in excitement in the documentary The Last Repair Shop
The Last Repair Shop grants an all-access pass to the nondescript downtown warehouse where a dwindling handful of devoted craftspeople keep over 80,000 student instruments in good repair.

Co-directors Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers, who accepted the award, say that the film was a labor of love. Kris Bowers had a personal connection, having grown up in the school district, spending as much time as he could with the piano there, leading him to a career in music as a film composer.

Co-directors Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers stand with young African American violinist and young saxophonist.
Ben Proudfoot (L), Kris Bowers (R), violinist Porche Brinker and young saxophonist.

Although Bowers would not meet Steve Bagmanyan until he began working on this film, Bowers discovered that Steve had been the piano tuner that tuned the instrument in his school.

Bagmanyan recognized that when a student's instrument would break or need repair, they would be without the instrument. Knowing how life-changing playing an instrument can be, Bagmanyan was determined that this couldn't happen in his city. Along with a handful of skilled craftspeople, Steve became the supervisor of the repair shop, where miracles happen.

Read more about the film.

Watch the acceptance speech.

Watch the full 40-minute documentary that features an orchestra of LAUSD alumni.