By Audrina Bigos

(CBS) — His saxophone could be his ticket to college, but there’s a big problem: Someone stole it.

CBS 2’s Audrina Bigos reports.

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The first time he tried his horn, Isaiah Collier knew it was the one.

“The first note and I knew that was it,” he says.

The $2,500 instrument was his most prized possession.

He thought they’d be together forever, but forever ended this week. He discovered to his horror the horn was stolen from his car.

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For a Thursday performance at the Arts Club of Chicago, he played a loaner. A new sax could cost upwards of $10,000.

He says his family can’t afford it. It would take him a couple of years to save up the money.

Collier doesn’t have that much time. College auditions are coming up.

“He desperately needs a new saxophone,” jazz instructor Anthony Bruno says.

Getting in, and any scholarships, will depend on how well Collier plays.

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The student is checking pawn shops, crossing his fingers and hoping his sax shows up. Meanwhile, others have started fundraisers to try and help.