High school student Allie Bullman combined her love of cello playing with woodwork to build a brand-new instrument. 

Requiring a project for her high school honours credits, the student from Billings, Montana, consulted her cello teacher and local luthier, John Kirk, to help her build a cello. ’Eighth grade through ninth grade, I took Tech Ed and Woodshop and I really loved building, so I thought it would be cool if I took hands-on building with my music love and put them together.’

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Bullman has spent her time throughout the pandemic fundraising for the pre-built frame and neck, as well as learning lutherie skills such as setting the bridge, applying varnish, carving pegs and fitting the endpin. 

The project must include a community aspect, so Bullman has chosen to donate the instrument to the non-profit organisation Arts without Boundaries. 

’The Arts without Boundaries program provide quality instruments for schools,’ Bullman said. ’Whenever I was at orchestra and I’d see all of my classmates pull out instruments that we had that were pretty bad - you would pull them out and they were falling apart. My stand partner had a nice one from Arts without Boundaries, so I thought it would be cool to make a new one for them.’