Online community comes together for cello student

The online community has come together to help a student whose cello was smashed during a domestic flight. Florida State University cellist Carrie Miller was flying from California to Florida when the cello was broken after United Airline staff insisted it had to go in the cargo hold.

‘When I flew back to Tallahassee, United Airlines did not allow me to gate check my cello,’ explained Miller. ‘I pleaded with them saying that I have checked the cello many times in the past and was allowed to do so on my initial flight to California. They were completely unsympathetic refusing to allow me to be present during the checking process.

‘There were no extra seats on the plane so I could not buy a seat for my cello. I couldn’t cancel my flight and was forced to check it through normal baggage procedures. When I got back to Tallahassee, my instrument was completely broken. Not just parts of it. The whole instrument was in pieces as well as the case.’

Miller then launched a crowdfunding campaign via GoFundMe to raise money for a replacement, as she could not afford to buy one herself before her graduate recital in April. The response was immediate, and Miller has now raised overUSD11,000 (€10,250) for a new instrument.

‘I am completely amazed at how quickly there have been donations. I am so grateful to everyone,’ said Miller. ‘I will be recording my recital and posting it to share…I cannot thank you all enough for helping me. I will remember this day for the rest of my life.’