Give Music Life Newsletter Highlights: May 2014

A monthly newsletter to keep you in key with the Fender Music Foundation.


Buzzworthy Events

Fender CEO rocks retirement party

FMIC CEO Larry Thomas plays a custom-made Fender Stratocaster that weighs a mere 5.1 pounds and is constructed of baked basswood with a curly maple veneer. The one-of-a-kind guitar was presented to Larry during his retirement gala at the Fender Visitor Center in Corona, California. FMF board member and FMIC Director of Entertainment Marketing Del Breckenfeld jams a blues tune along side. READ MORE

Grantee News

Reading, rocking and arithmetic

Ed O’Connell first arrived at East Los Angeles Performing Arts Academy with the intention of teaching high school English. Now some years later, he “jams” with students playing electric guitar while the rest of the class joins in or studies lyrics displayed on a projector screen from their favorite artists. This unorthodox approach allows his students to learn music and use it as a tool to improve their grammar, he says. READ MORE

Together MusicWorks and FMF make dreams come true

Just about everyone deep down inside dreams of being a rock star. The desire for fame and adulation are inescapable. Lori O’Leary of MusicWorks in Havertown, PA sees this firsthand with the clients of their music therapy program. Many of the program’s children and adults are either affected by autism, down syndrome, or other genetic abnormalities yet they share the same dreams of performing on stage with an electric guitar. READ MORE

FMF joins Lubec Elementary in growth of music program

When Cynthia Dineen first arrived at Lubec Elementary two years ago, they didn’t have a full music program or enough instruments for students to play. Wanting more for her students, Cynthia spoke with her fellow teachers and they recommended contacting the Fender Music Foundation, where she was awarded eight Cordoba guitars. Today she says the guitars have had an incredible impact with her students and they are eager to learn to play better each day.

Lydia Patterson Institute

Music Matters

The Lydia Patterson Institute has a history of nearly 100 years of bringing cultures together from the border towns of El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico. Choir instructor Rev. Bill Davis says when the Foundation donated eight guitars, it freed up money for other instruments and helped more than 40 students in the mariachi classes and choir. Also, having the guitars at the Institute eliminates the risk of confiscation for students who travel between the neighboring communities. “Sometimes items that people bring with them across the border are ‘seized’ by the Mexican officials without explanation,” he says.

USMC veteran awarded Roland drum kit

Del Breckenfeld of FMIC, Lynn Robison of the Fender Music Foundation, and William Wagasy of the Gary Sinise Foundation participated in the presentation of a Roland US electronic drum kit to Cpl. Juan Dominguez. Roland President and CEO, Kim Nunney and VP of Marketing Paul Youngblood agreed to help Cpl. Dominguez achieve his dream of owning the set. The top-of-the-line kit was presented at the Roland Corporation’s Los Angeles-based factory where everyone was invited to tour the facilities and later Cpl. Dominguez performed on the kit for all to enjoy.


Partner Updates

  • Avi Shabat of Guitar Groomer and Shabat guitars has volunteered repair services
  • Toca percussion has donated 21 Djembes with more instruments to follow
  • KMC/Toca Percussion is now involved in supporting the Foundation’s efforts.

Foundation Highlights

  • FMF is considering the development of Lieut. Dan Band custom Fender guitars to be used for collaboration benefit concerts with the Gary Sinise Foundation
  • FMF has received an FA-100 Acoustic guitar signed at Stagecoach Festival by various country music stars

Stay Connected