TAMPA, Fla. — The Pepin Academy Welding program is taking old, unused instruments and turning them into art which will be featured this weekend at the Gasparilla Music Festival in downtown Tampa.

Sometimes, the instruments used by bands are no longer able to play music.

But they can continue their usefulness through art.

What You Need To Know

  •  Recycled Tunes collects used instruments and donates to schools

  •  Unusable instruments go to the Pepin Academy Welding Program

  •  The Pepin Welding Program students turn the instruments to art which is dedicated to the Gasparilla Music Fest

It is a different kind of symphony playing at the Pepin Academy trade skills workshop this week.

Really, it is more about what you will see in the end.

“But I’ve got a good feeling about this,” John Paul Lee, one of the Pepin students, predicted about the artwork.

John Paul Lee, one of the student artists at the Pepin program, tells us why he thinks the final artwork will impress.

“I see a bunch of people working together to make good art,” he said.

Anthony Soltero, another student, finished touching up the artwork by welding together metal and brass.

He explained what they do at the welding program in this project.

“We put the instruments together that can no longer be used,” Anthony said. “But there’s still some instruments that can be used there.”

Pepin is a special education school and teamed up with Recycled Tunes.

It is an organization that collects used instruments and donates them to schools for their music programs.

The instruments that can no longer play music go towards a different purpose.

Recycled Tunes puts up the brass instruments for the Pepin students; they put the instruments to work again in the form of art.

The students also get better at welding, which results in better future job offers, according to Pepin instructors.

“It’s a trade skill opportunity, however it just seems to be a little bit bigger than that,” said Bryant Martinez.

Class instructor and community artist Mr. Bryant Martinez said the artwork goes out into the public, then more things happen.

“The students get a chance to have purpose driven art and seeing that art out in the community becomes exciting,” said Mr. Martinez.

Because the students are dedicating the artwork to the Gasparilla Music Fest, Martinez said the work strikes a resounding chord.

“To know they made the art for that, gives them a sense of fulfillment,” he said.

Terissa Lawrence, another student, echoed the words of the instructor.

“Putting metals together you know you’re building something,” Terissa said. “It’s something nice. Feels nice to be part of something, it’s just a nice experience.”