magic music bus (big bertha)

Hungry for Music 2016 Recap

by Jeff Campbell

It’s been a whirlwind since our last newsletter in December. Hungry for Music ended the year with a flurry of donations that put us over 700, a new annual milestone! Our end of the year outreach included:

  • One Yamaha electronic drum set and three clarinets to Renzi Center in Shreveport, Louisiana.
  • Music accessories (music stand, flute book, music flash cards, and lagniappe) to a young flutist in Galveston, Texas.
  • Tambourines, jingle bells, rhythm shakers for two little girls being raised by their grandfather in New Orleans.
  • Five acoustic guitars to Laurel, Delaware Public Library guitar program.
  • Six violins to Austin Public Schools in Texas in memory of Amy Farris.
  • Seven electric guitars/basses and Ludwig blue sparkle drum set to Girls Rock Camp in Cleveland; also will be utilized by Cleveland Boys and Girls Club.
  • Ten amplifiers, eight electric guitars, two acoustic guitars, 24 keyboards, one complete PA system, music books and accessories to the Feel Good Tour in Roanoke, Virginia.
  • Three saxophones (alto and tenor), a trombone, percussion kit, horn mutes and cleaning supplies to Roots of Music in New Orleans. This was a Christmas Eve delivery to Roots of Music Founder Derek Tabb, at his Treme Hideaway music venue!
  • Twelve sets of rhythm sticks to John Burroughs Elementary School in Washington, DC.

Our record-breaking August, with 218 instruments donated, gave us the momentum to close out 2016 with a new donation record. This milestone would not have been reached without the support of many dedicated volunteers who pick up, repair, and deliver the instruments, including Billy Astrove, Colin Baxter, Ted Crawford, Kelly Criscuolo-Debutts, Walt Fales (rest in peace), Alan Friedman, Marc Glickman, Jim Gormley, Mike Greek, Allan Harrington, Steve Lefler, John Membrino, Evan Pollack, Wayne Rodgers, James Vance, Zac Weinstein, and Dee Wright.

I would also like to give Dee Wright a grateful shout out for taking care of the huge task of handling all of the administrative responsibilities, including communicating with donors and recipients, website updates, newsletter design and distribution, and all correspondence. With her expertise, Hungry for Music has integrated the Salesforce CRM platform, which allows us to track each instrument and much more. Thank you, Dee!

The Hungry for Music train hasn’t slowed down in 2017, as we have already surpassed 100 donated instruments. The two largest being (1) supporting the dream of Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jeanmar Gomez by providing a music school in his home country of Venezuela with instruments (see below), and (2) supporting our partner since 2009, Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM). We gifted JAM with 27 guitars, three banjos, three dulcimers, one hammer dulcimer, two autoharps, a mandolin, and 15 guitar stands.

Many of our donations are of a smaller or individual variety, like Camden below. Many more are lined-up for the coming weeks, including donations to a long-time partner and two new international sites. Check out the next newsletter and social media for updates and news on the upcoming travel plans of Hungry for Music’s Magic Music Bus, Big Bertha.

I appreciate your support of our outreach. Please consider sharing our newsletter, website, or social media pages with your friends and colleagues.