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Joy of Music School gets gift of time and talent from Alabama man

A man who repairs musical instruments for a living is spending his vacation doing the same thing, for free.
Charlie Hibbs repairs instruments at the Joy of Music School in Knoxville.

Joy of Music School Executive Director Frank Graffeo explained. Volunteer music teachers instruct children at the Joy of Music School. "We don't ask anything from the kids except that they come to their lessons and they practice and that they're polite and show up on time, bring their stuff. When they can do those things they learn about life, not just music," explained Graffeo.Those values convinced the show 'Secret Millionaire' to feature the Joy of Music School this spring. "You don't know what it's like to have 12.6 million people see your organization until it happens. But we got a tremendous response," he said. After the program aired, donated instruments started pouring in from across the country. However, many of them were in need of repair. "Not all of them are in working order so the value of Charlie's offer was growing day by day," he said. Charlie is Charlie Hibbs. He's been repairing musical instruments since the 1970's and lives near Gadsden, Alabama, where he saw the episode of 'Secret Millionaire' featuring the Joy of Music School. "Started making plans, contacted the school, asked them if they needed anything. Frank like to have jumped through the email. Yes, yes, yes," Hibbs said. Hibbs felt moved to spend a week of vacation time here in Knoxville repairing instruments. "Karma. People who do good things get good things. Not doing it for that. Just doing it because it feels good to do good things," Hibbs said. Music is his life. "I've played in symphony orchestras, concert bands, swing bands, jazz bands, dance bands, polka bands," he said. Fixing instruments keeps him close to music and fixing donated instruments for the Joy of Music School lets him share his love of music with young people. "We're getting them to where they are useful as a musical instrument again. A lot of them are not right now. You could turn a lot of them into lamps. But we're getting the, playing enough to where a child can progress on them," Hibbs said. He's doing his part and hopes more teachers will volunteer to teach music at the school. "He's taking action on what's in his heart," Graffeo said. "That's what really makes it valuable to so many kids and so many people in this organization." Hilton donated a hotel room to Charlie and his wife for the week and Holston Gases is proving free acetylene for his repairs./>