CitySong

Love the Staple Singers‘ music AND helping kids? Check this out:

Hungry for Music, a national nonprofit dedicated to putting musical instruments into the hands of underserved children, has quietly contributed to Louisville’s musical education programs through donations of drums and other percussion to the Louisville Leopards Percussionists, River City Drum Corps and others.

Now the Washington, D.C.-based charity is on the road with its brightly decorated Magic Music Bus, which is completing an around-the-U.S. outreach tour with a stop in Louisville and a new collaboration with Louisville Public Media’s Instrumental Partners. And it hopes to make a joyful noise celebrating with a Staple Singers tribute concert and instrument drive on Thursday, July 27, at Tim Faulkner Gallery. The show will benefit Hungry for Music, River City Drum Corps, which is performing that night, and the Instrumental Partners program, through an instrument drive to be held at the venue.

A donation of $10 is suggested as admission to the concert, which will begin at 7 p.m., and will also include performers Sheryl Rouse, Tyrone Cotton, Blues and Greys band, Jacqui Blue and Karter Louis.

“At Hungry for Music, our mission is putting quality musical instruments into hungry hands,” said Jeff Campbell, who founded the charity in 1994 and has since delivered more than 10,000 instruments to children in 48 states and 23 countries. “We serve children who demonstrate a desire to learn music, as well as teachers who have students willing to learn. We believe that by sharing instruments and musical experiences, children who would not otherwise have the opportunity can experience a kind of freedom and self-discovery that is often stifled in an atmosphere of economic hardship.”

Hungry for Music has distributed more than 200 so far on the Magic Music Bus tour, which also promotes the importance of music education and of connecting donors and charities. “Already, through Todd Rundgren’s Spirit of Harmony Foundation, I was introduced to Colorado Public Radio’s Bringing Music to Life program,” Campbell said, an effort in Denver similar to Instrumental Partners.

“When a child plays an instrument it gives them a healthy challenge, builds a sense of community, and opens new possibilities of self-expression,” said Sara Soltau, Louisville Public Media’s education programs manager. “We’re proud to be the organization that connects the generosity of our community with the music of our schools.”

On this bus tour, Hungry for Music has partnered with organizations including the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Junior Appalachian Musicians, The Roots of Music in New Orleans and several high school and college music honor societies to bring what Campbell calls this Magic Music Mission to more than 100 cities and 48 states. Other special events took place in New Orleans, Dallas, Chicago and Philadelphia, and more are planned as the bus tour winds through Florida, Tennessee and Missouri before reaching Louisville. The bus’ progress is tracked on the HungryforMusic website and Facebook page.

Hungry for Music receives about half of its musical instrument donations from other children, holding music instrument drives for their bar or bat mitzvahs, Boy Scout projects and high school service projects; college and high school music organizations help, too. Other sources include individuals cleaning out their attics or garages and closets, and professional musicians who have donated their own instruments or helped acquire others. Hungry for Music also purchases musical instruments, Campbell said, through individual donations, business contributions, organization support, benefit concert proceeds, merchandise and raffle sales.

For more information, and details on how to donate, visit HungryforMusic.org. Inquiries can be emailed to contact@hungryformusic.org or through the website.