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Musicians Give Back

SOURCE: Published: 2008-12-28
Larry Washington We are very excited to share with you what Rhythmworkz was involved up in Reno last week. An opportunity was made available for Larry Washington, Joe Alessandro, Mike Sims and Kevin Flournoy to lead some clinics & classes, and perform at assemblies in two schools in the Washoe County School District in Reno.

The initial contact was developed by Traner Middle School Arts teacher Cynthia Ford, who arranged a meeting for us with the principals of both Traner and Hug High School. Peggy Paarmann of Rhythmworkz, who lives in Reno, set up and coordinated all of the appearances, and was instrumental in keeping things running smoothly.

Our amazing journey began on Tuesday, September 24th, at Hug High School. There we met and shared knowledge with the Percussion Class, and Drum Line. In that class, led by teacher Joe Savage, we met some incredibly talented kids, among them Desmond Washington, Vidal Smith, and Keenan Davis. They really made an impression, playing for us, rapping and sharing their excitement and passion for music.

Then on Thursday, September 26th, Lauren Ford, principal of Traner, and Lisa Castro, the music instructor, hosted us for an all-school assembly of 600 kids, which Larry and friends played for, and offered some instruction and motivation as well.

This was an amazing event: kids who were so excited to see us that the decibel level from their enthusiastic cheers was louder than the music! Andy Kelly, principal of Hug High School was instrumental in getting the Reno Gazette Journal to cover the assembly, which resulted in a very large article, accompanied by two photos in the paper the day following the assembly.

That same afternoon Andy and the team from Hug hosted us in the Little Theater for an assembly of 220 kids, including the ones we had met during our earlier visit. Larry & Joe shared skills, stories, and inspired the kids, two of which came up and rapped for the group, generating huge applause from their peers. There were so many very special kids we met there, all of which really encouraged and inspired us to want to do more to reach out and help more kids in schools all over the country.

On Rhythmworkz last day in Reno, September 27th, Larry and Joe were guests at Traner's band and music classes for a day, which included lunch in the cafeteria. There, Larry and Joe were surrounded by students who wanted to ask questions, get autographs and just enjoy their company. They left the school still hungry for lunch, but very satisfied and gratified by the response of the kids.

Due to the generosity of friends like you, we were able to donate a pair of Paiste marching Cymbals to the Hug High School Drum Line, and 25 complete packages of information to the Drummers and Percussionists at Hug High as well. We also were able to donate a Pearl Snare drum with stand, and a complete set of DB Mesh Head Practice Pads to Traner Middle School.

Thank you to Deborah Washington, Tomo Meek, KJZS,DB Musical, Rhythm Tech, Audix, Paiste, Pearl, Apple, Voice Crystal, Vic Firth, Treeworks, Protection Racket and Phatfoot -- your support made a difference in the lives of well over 1000 kids!! And this is just the beginning.

We look forward to reaching out across this country to many more kids, just like those we met during our days in Reno. The impact of these visits will be felt in many ways for years to come, and if the kids reactions were any indication, they now have a new appreciation for music and education, which will guide them into their very bright futures. Sincerely, The Rhythmworkz team






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