Haiti had very little classical music before the January earthquake–just two music schools and one small concert hall–and the quake turned them all into ruins. Romel Joseph, the Julliard-trained and blind-from-birth violinist who founded the New Victorian School, lost his pregnant wife and was himself buried in rubble for eighteen hours with both legs mangled, his right hand pierced by nails, and his left hand broken.

Now Joseph wants to rebuild–with help from Ann Arbor music students. “When I first heard about the earthquake, I wanted to do something,” says Renee Robbins, former president of the Ann Arbor Piano Teachers Guild. “Then I heard on NPR about what happened to Mr. Joseph, and I knew that’s what I wanted to do.” Deanna Relyea offered the use of the Kerrytown Concert House, and Robbins organized the musical equivalent of a walkathon: students will get pledges to support their participation in the performance, which is scheduled to run nonstop from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, September 26 (see Events).

Since she’s never done anything like this before, Robbins doesn’t know how much money will be raised, but she’s optimistic: “There’ll be about 250 students playing altogether,” says Robbins, “piano, violin, viola, bass, and classical guitar, and if each one raises $50 that’s $12,500, right?”