“Sweet Spot,” by Mike Sugerman

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – To all parents who tell their kids not to play with their food: Get ready, it’s crunch time.

Meet the Long Island Vegetable Orchestra.

They make their instruments out of vegetables, and they put their heart and soul into it. They play in the key of B-vitamin. They stay on beat – alright, I’ll stop.

Dale Stuckenbruck, who plays lead carrot, came up with the idea while teaching unmotivated students music.

“I sought out something that would inspire them,” he says. “Instead of being the dictatorial teacher, I tried to find something creative.”

The carrot and stick approach wasn’t working. That’s when he saw a similar group in Vienna on Youtube. The students thought he was out of his gourd, but it worked.

“Some of them became terrific carvers,” he says. “I remember one girl was able to make a flute out of an asparagus, and a very high pitched one – a slight flute at that.”

He sought out professional musicians to make an orchestra. Daniel Battaglia became the music director.

“We use power tools, we use hand tools, knives. And then we also of course try to find anything that’s a vegetable, or even vegetation-like, in nature,” he says.

At a recent performance at a fair on Long Island, the orchestra left the audience hungry for more.

“I think they should have more carrot flutes,” one woman said.

“It’s hard to play a squash, but they do it very well,” added another

Truer words were never spoken.

Find more from the “Sweet Spot” here.


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