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NW Indiana Rusty Strings Spotlights Local Musicians with the Partnership of Pines Village

NW Indiana Rusty Strings lets string players shine in a community orchestra that features musicians across Northwest Indiana.

Retired Duneland School Corporation Director of Music Education Tom Schnabel has continued on his legacy in music by mentoring musicians in NW Indiana Rusty Strings. Schnabel, a freelance cellist for more than 30 years, seeks to inspire former string orchestra players to continue growing in their passion.

Schnabel said all ability levels are welcome in the group, which has 40 string players aged from their twenties to forties.

“Our motto is ‘Only play the notes you like!’ so it's a low-stress, high-fun environment,” Schnabel said. “In the first session we had participants from every age decade group, teens to 70's.”

It all began with social media posts and making a callout to string players for a weekly rehearsal. The group’s ultimate goal was to hone an amateur orchestra group that could perform at community venues. However, the group needed a “home.”


That’s where Pines Village stepped in and ultimately became the group’s playing “headquarters.”

Schnabel’s mother-in-law, Marge Harvey, is a violinist and is also a resident at Pines Village. Because of this, he knew of the Celebration Center, which is the gathering spot for educational, cultural and musical programs.

Schnabel found that it was the perfect fit to hold the weekly rehearsals, and the Pines Village residents enjoy listening to the weekly orchestra music.

Because of their contributions to NW Indiana Rusty Strings, Pines Village was recently awarded a “Sparking the Arts Grant” from Porter County Community Foundation. This contribution will fund the purchase of armless chairs for the Rusty Strings weekly rehearsals.


NW Indiana Rusty Strings finished their fall session with two, wonderful Christmas-themed performances at Addison Pointe in Chesterton and at their home-base location of Pines Village Retirement Communities in Valparaiso.

The musical group is kicking off their next season at 7 p.m. January 9th at the Pines Village Celebration Room. NW Indiana Rusty Strings rehearses every Tuesday night in January and February. Late February and early March concerts will be announced at a later date. Every session costs $30 to participate, and participants must be 18 and older and finished with high school.

For more information, Tom Schnabel can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 219-707-0552.

Pines Village Retirement Communities
3303 Pines Village Circle, Valparaiso, IN 46383
Visit Pines Village Retirement Communities Partner Profile

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