Central Florida symphony working to rebuild following theft of instruments

Volusia Community Arts (VCA), formerly known as Volusia Community Symphony, is working to replace thousands of dollars worth of equipment following a theft several weeks ago.

The items, stolen in the middle of the night, were inside an unmarked trailer located on the property where the group practices. "To all of a sudden be told that everything we own was missing, was heart-wrenching," said Traci Flumer, the group's executive director.

The total value of the items lost is projected between $30,000 and $40,000. Some of those funds were collected from an insurance claim; however, the group is still short on the funds needed to replace all the equipment. "A set of four timpani, a drum set, 60 musical stands, speakers, a xylophone, bells, cymbals. There was so much stuff that was on there," she said.

Dr. Brandon Loos said he is hopeful they can get things back on track in order to carry out their mission of providing music and arts for the Western Volusia community, in an accessible manner. "[Music and art] is the universal language that speaks to everybody," he said.

As the group makes progress toward purchasing the new items, they have made several adjustments to their normal operations. All the people who play the instruments that were stolen have used their personal equipment to practice with.

Kay Cooke, the president of VCA, said they have used other methods to make up for what they lost. "We’re doing a ‘MacGyver' act here. They’re using my flute cleaning rod to hit a triangle side because there was nothing metal to hit it with," she explained.

According to Cooke, they were able to acquire a set of timpani – the most expensive instrument – on a loan. The trailer has not been located up to this point, but community members and supporters donated enough to pay for a replacement trailer.

Cooke, Flumer, and Loos extended their thanks for the support they’ve received thus far. "It means more than I think they know. It tells me that we’re doing the right thing. It tells me that we’re making an impact," Loos added.

The next ticketed event is scheduled for May 6 in DeLand. The theme is "A Night At The Movies." Click here for more information on their future events and how to donate.