Nick and Lisa Rail will donate another 150 instruments to Del Norte Schools | Wild Rivers Outpost

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Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Wednesday, January 12 at 5:10 p.m. / Arts, Education

Nick and Lisa Rail will donate another 150 instruments to schools in Del Norte


Nick and Lisa Rail (far right and middle) received a standing ovation after their first musical instrument donation of 2020. File photo: Jessica C. Andrews.

Two years after their first “ta-da” moment, Nick and Lisa Rail will donate 150 more musical instruments to Del Norte schools, some worth thousands of dollars, Del Norte High’s music director says School, Dan Sedgwick.

“Some of the things he got for us are things I wouldn’t even dream of buying,” Sedgwick told the Wild Rivers Outpost Wednesday. “There are a number of professional quality horns versus student horns – a number of trumpets, flutes, saxophones in a level that I would never buy myself because, why would we? It’s really awesome.

The Rails will make their “official No. 2” donation at Del Norte High School’s winter concert in the gymnasium at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sedgwick said. The concert will feature steel drum, stage, beginner and concert bands as well as the Bella Voce and Madrigals.

Admission to the concert is free. People can also watch the concert live on Del Norte High School’s Facebook page.

Before becoming one of California’s largest musical instrument retailers, Nick Rail grew up in Del Norte County, attending Redwood Union School in Fort Dick where he learned to play the cornet.

Rail was reintroduced to Del Norte by Sedgwick, who frequented his Santa Barbara store and even worked for him. In January 2020, the Rails had their first “ta-da” moment of 2020 when they unveiled their donation of 100 instruments to Mary Peacock Elementary School.

“His goal is to make sure we have enough instruments to service the whole county if we need them,” Sedgwick told the Outpost. “Some of our instruments date back to the 70s (or the) 60s. This time it’s 150 new instruments.

The Rails, who returned to Del Norte County, started the Nick and Lisa Rail Music Fund at the Wild Rivers Community Foundation and later introduced the nonprofit performing arts partnership in an effort to to build a 1,000-seat auditorium at Del Norte High. School.

They also pledged $50,000 for new stage lighting and $131,409 for new seating at the renovated Crescent Elk Auditorium, which celebrated its grand reopening in November.

In October, speaking before the Del Norte Unified School District Board of Trustees, Rail said he and his wife planned to eventually donate 800 instruments to Del Norte students.


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