Bass Repair for Marisa Sherwood

Four years ago, a career that I had been building for over a decade came to a screeching halt. 

A little background: I began playing the double bass at the age of 10, immediately finding a passion for a career in music; and it was from that point that my whole life's effort  became to achieve my end goal. For 13 years, I worked tirelessly to establish my position in school, local, and eventually professional orchestras. I have been a private teacher, a camp counselor, an instrument salesperson, a performer, an ensemble coach, a band member, and a university music student - all for the instrument that was the basis of the rest of my life's work. 

As my musical endeavors expanded, I was accepted on scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston - a school and area that could provide me much better opportunity, and had to spend literally EVERY penny I had from my Olive Garden server job to get there. 

As you can imagine, going from Texas to Boston is quite a change. I was greeted with a higher cost of living, a very different culture, and most of all, a change in climate.  The transition was rough. For months upon arriving, I was without a place to live despite tireless efforts. Between my age, being a student, lack of credit or co-signer, and a low-end waitress's salary, I found myself trapped in a poverty cycle that I am only now breaking out of 8 years later. Before I had a home, I was already in school full-time (which in the first few semesters of a music school means 9-11 classes at a time) while working at a new Olive Garden location full-time. I rarely made enough money to afford both food and the Motel 6 that I was living in an hour and a half away from school.  I was homeless working 70 hours a week, losing weight very quickly and without even a cell phone for communication. I could see absolutely no way out. 

Two months later, I was finally accepted into an apartment in Revere, MA (just outside the city), and moved in. At this point, mid-terms were on their way, and there was a fresh blizzard hitting us every other week. But hey, I was making progress and had to keep my eye on the prize, so I counted my blessings. 

After settling in, on a cold February morning, I picked up my instrument, tuned it up, and slowly started to warm up, when mid-way through a D Scale, I heard a loud BANG. As any string instrument player can tell you, the biggest danger to an instrument is unstable climate; and as anyone in my position could tell you, that takes money to control. The several bowls of water that I had placed around the room to humidify the air did nothing to prevent what that loud BANG had meant for my instrument and my career....

It has been just over 4 years since this incident. In the meantime, I was able to borrow an instrument, but that was only available for so long. And despite continuing to work my hardest, switching to a slightly higher paying job but still living paycheck to paycheck, I have still been absolutely unable to put a dent in the cost to fix this.  And although I am incredibly proud to say that through every hardship, I was able to maintain straight A's at Berklee and be placed on the Dean's List , two years ago I had to make the heartbreaking choice to step away from my education and scholarship. 

I am looking to return to school to finish what I started this coming January, and that means that I have to find a way to repair my bass. If I want what is now 20 years of hard work and study to mean anything, then I MUST ask for help. 

Below is the repair estimate from Zachary Martin, a talented and professional luthier in Pawtucket, RI. I am asking for $3000 to cover all repairs, as well as a bow rehair, and potentially new strings (as mine are 11 years old at this point). Any money donated beyond that amount will go to musical supplies, equipment, and potentially school books if I am able to return to school. 


Anything helps. And I mean anything. If you are in a similar poverty cycle, then please know that spreading the word of my campaign is of equal value, and that I'll be keeping you in my thoughts. Additionally, for anyone who donates, I am happy to say thank you with a free copy of my band's next album, with a bonus album from a surprise artist ;)

Thank you. Your support means everything to me.


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Marisa Sherwood 
Nashua, NH
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