Give Music Life Newsletter: June Digest

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


Buzzworthy Events

John Fogerty with a Fender Telecaster at USC Thornton School of Music.

Foundation gives Telecaster to USC graduating class

The Foundation donated a Fender Telecaster to this year’s graduating class of the USC Thornton School of Music, which was then signed by the students and presented to honorary commencement speaker, John Fogerty. Among the grads was the legendary guitarist’s son Shane. The iconic instrument was offered to show their appreciation for Mr. Fogerty’s participation.


Grantee News

Laraway student rehearsing on a Fender bass guitar.

Fender Music Foundation inspires students of Laraway

Excitement and a chorus of musical passions have been ignited for the children of Laraway Youth and Family Services. Students have found inspiration towards school, teachers have new tools in their toolboxes to motivate students, and children who’ve had a difficult time expressing their thoughts and feelings in words are now learning a new language as a means of self-expression. READ MORE

Max strumming a Gretsch guitar at the Oaktown Jazz Workshops.

 Oaktown Jazz Workshops

When you think of Oakland, California, perhaps what comes to mind is the NFL’s Oakland Raiders or maybe MLB’s Oakland Athletics. However, for Ravi Abcarian, Executive Director of the Oaktown Jazz Workshops, it’s all about infusing the rich sounds of jazz music with the backdrop of youth growing up in the harsh streets of Oakland. READ MORE

Teen Music Workshop recording in the new Looking Glass Studio.

Update: Teen Music Workshop

As the days get warmer, things are heating up with Bryan Wing and the Teen Music Workshop have as they’ve been quite busy since our last report from November, 2013. Just like last year, the Workshop will be performing at Disney’s California Adventure Summer Concert Series, however, there will be the addition of a horn and string section. Their summer tour will include Knott’s Berry Farm and Raging Waters with show dates beginning June 28. It’s good to see that the long-standing relationship between TMW and the Foundation has led to new and exciting events for the teens. READ MORE


Music Matters

Lighthouse fourth-graders Annaleise, Celeste, Rosalind, and Jessica love their new instruments so much that they can be found in the music room at just about every opportunity.

Music brings generations together

Stelet Kim, the Development Manager at Lighthouse Community Charter School in Oakland, California, has witnessed firsthand the impact music is having on her students. The Charter School reports a renewed curiosity in their K-4 students after receiving the donation of a Fender Jazz bass, a Jackson electric guitar, and a DW drum kit. “The injection of new instruments has invigorated the love of learning,” Stelet says. The interest in music has grown beyond the classroom. With the newfound joy of creating, listening, and singing songs, the students of Lighthouse feel a bond not only with their peers but with adults as well; bridging the generation gap. “They say that learning to play music has brought them closer to family members,” Stelet says. “Celeste plays guitar with her uncle and Jessica sings with her grandmother.”


Partner Updates

  • The Foundation is working with media production company, FUTURELEAP, in a crowdfunding campaign for the movie “The Bridge” featuring Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott. Perks of the new relationship include consulting from social media expert, Marcus Lovingood, who’s generously donating his time and expertise to maximize success of our crowdfunding projects.
  • The Foundation in collaboration with The Boys and Girls Club of America, is working with the Gipsy Kings on a crowdfunding event for their 25th Anniversary Concert at the Greek Theater, 30 August. The band is providing a package that includes VIP tickets, a backstage meet and greet, and a band signed Córdoba Pro 55 guitar.
  • DW Drums is creating a custom snare drum to be signed by the famous Latin band “Mana” for the Foundation’s September crowdfunding event to be featured on CharityBuzz.
  • Guitar Artist Pamelina Hovnatanian of Pamelina Studios is creating a line of military service member guitars to be offered in a collaborative fundraising effort with the Gary Sinise Foundation.
  • Bill Montgomery of “Drifting With The All Stars” is coordinating drifting experiences with professional drivers to support Foundation partners and our fundraising efforts.

Foundation Highlights

  • The Foundation’s new donation page has now been streamlined for a better customer experience, which has increased average contributions.
  • The Foundation is collaborating with the producers of the movie “The Bridge” on a eBay fundraising campaign. The auction includes an Fender Telecaster signed by the cast, an on-the-set meet and greet, with a portion of the proceeds going to The Foundation.
  • Radio station KSWD FM 100.3 “The Sound” interviewed Executive Director Lynn Robison about the Foundation’s mission, upcoming and current events, with the show scheduled to air in August, 2014 (Listen to excerpt here).
  • Facebook Likes have more than doubled to 26,000 thanks to social media postings of highlights, outreach, and insightful stories by the Foundation’s staff; this has social media engagement increasing over 100% in the past 2 months.
  • The Foundation’s website is currently being redesigned to improve content and simplify navigation.