Monday, October 26, 2009

Music lovers gather to 'Save the Music'

Published: October 4, 2009

Musicians, students and music lovers gathered on Friday night to listen to their favorite bands and raise money for underprivileged children across the country to have access to instruments and funding for music programs in their schools.

The Public Relations Student Society of America hosted its first ever concert in an effort to raise funds for both the VH1 Save the Music Foundation and the PRSSA.

The concert united its audience to support music, something many of them were introduced to through music education programs. This early introduction to music is the reason why many students came to study at MTSU.

“MTSU is unique in the fact that it offers a degree in the public relations field with an emphasis in the recording industry,” says Paul Bernardini, vice president of fundraising for the PRSSA MTSU chapter. 

“So, with that in mind, VH1’s Save the Music Foundation is an appropriate fit to fill a philanthropic opportunity that our chapter hasn’t yet taken full advantage of.”

The core mission of the VH1 Save the Music Foundation is to restore instrumental music education programs, ensuring that every child has access to a complete education that includes the benefits of music instruction.

“I wish I had a wonderful organization such as this when I was growing up,” says Kristi Neumann, a Nashville musician who was featured in Friday night’s concert. “I couldn’t really start learning to play the guitar until I was 19, simply because I couldn’t afford to buy my own instruments.”

According to Neumann, she wouldn’t be the same person if she had never been introduced to music.

“Music made me who I am,” Neumann says. “I would be a disaster without it. The ability for me to jam out on my guitar relieves all my stress.” 

The concert was successful, raising more than $500 from ticket sales alone. 

Donation jars were distributed to businesses throughout Murfreesboro as well to give the community a chance to make cash donations to both causes. 

Since Save the Music’s start in 1997, it has managed to raise $43 million for schools all over the country.

The MTSU show featured many musical artistst from funky house bands like DeRobert and the Half-Truths to Jennifer Berettilonghini, who fearlessly played “Iron Man” on the bagpipes. 

A band comprised 30 middle school children from both Central Middle School and Bradley Academy made an incredible guest appearance.  They were led by Luke Hill, the band director for Bradley Academy with the help of his friend, Scott Kinney.

“It’s really a difficult thing to combine two groups of children from two different schools and make it work,” Luke Hill says. “It truly was quite a feat considering the Bradley Academy kids had about six weeks to prepare as opposed to Central Middle School only having about a week to get ready.”

The band did a fantastic job and their passion for music showed in their performance. 

Robin Kinney, a student at Central Middle School played the French horn and was excited to explain her involvement. Although she has been playing the horn for one year, she plans on auditioning for the All-Midstate Honor Band as soon as she can.

“They’ve been blessed to have a band to sign up for,” Hill says. “They get to give back tonight and show their appreciation through their musical talents.”

ODP also played a huge part in the success of this concert as they controlled the sound. They were very proud and excited to be involved in a function such as Save the Music.

“We are always excited to get our hands on any musical function that we can, especially if its proceeds go toward furthering musical education,” says Taylor Cole, a member of ODP and a sophomore at MTSU.

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