Walt Fales: A Full-Time Champion for Music in Baltimore

Walt Fales: A Full-Time Champion for Music in Baltimore  By BRIAN McNICOLL

 Walt Fales’ Super Bowl takes place the first Saturday of December.

 That’s the Night of 100 ELVISes, a fundraiser/concert/cultural event that takes place in Baltimore each year, the 1st weekend in December. And not for nothing is Fales known as "the Band Man". The event benefits the Johns Hopkins Children's Center & other local non-profits.

 Hungry for Music has been a part of the event for most of the event's 22 years. There have been two "Night of 100 Elvises" CDs, the sale of which benefit Hungry for Music. In addition, at the event, Hungry for Music offers its various CDs for purchase & has had raffles for guitars as well as in one standout year, a motorcycle. Everyone knows how Elvis loved his wheels.

 Walt works year-around with the event's planning committee putting together the show. Then, that night, it is his job to make sure the bands go on as scheduled. It’s not easy. There are 40+ acts on three stages, and on one stage, they play for 7 minutes or less. They’re not easy to tell apart, either, given that all are in the business of imitating Elvis.

 “It has to happen on a tight schedule, and you have to find all these people and make sure they’re where they are supposed to be when it’s their turn to perform,” said Fales. “Half the time, I don’t even get to see the show.”

 Yet, the show could not go on without him. He gets contacted by people from around the world who want to perform. Many must be turned away to make the schedule work.

 Fales is 66 and still working hard at his job with a corporate PR firm. He aspires to retire and become “a full-time volunteer.” One could argue he already is. In addition to his work with the ELVISes, he helps out at a shelter and reads to the blind once a week. In addition, he has become instrumental to Hungry for Music’s efforts to collect instruments and redistribute them to kids who want to play.

 He collects instruments for Hungry for Music in the Baltimore-Washington corridor. He fills his basement with them “till my wife gets mad,” Fales said. “Then, I move some to my garage. Then, I call Jeff [Campbell, founder of Hungry for Music] and he comes and gets them.”

 Helping Hungry for Music – “He has become one of our most valuable players; nobody helps us do what we do anymore than Walt,” said Campbell – comes naturally for Fales. He grew up in Baltimore, attended Cardinal Gibbons High, alma mater of Babe Ruth, and has lived in Charm City his entire life.

 For more than four decades, he has been part of the city’s live music scene. He is not a performer – he played in bands as a kid but is not now a musician – but he has a special appreciation for what musical artists bring to our lives.

 “They’re happy people, and they create happiness for all of us,” Fales said. “And almost all of them are willing to pay it forward and help others. “

 Fales pays it forward by helping Hungry for Music. He has picked up dozens of flutes, guitars, horns and strings. He’s even been offered a few pianos, which he turns over to an organization better equipped to move and store them. Whenever he is involved with other musical festivals, he asks for a few moments at the microphone and uses those moments to urge people to contact him or Hungry for Music if they have instruments to donate.

This has taken him to some interesting places.

 Once, he was called to a home in East Baltimore … “within sight of the Natty Boh sign,” he said ... to pick up a set of conga drums. The place was small, the neighborhood out of the way. But when Fales walked in, he was amazed.

 “A complete studio. Everything you would need to make music,” Fales said. “This was a true music lover with something to donate. That’s the way music lovers and musicians are … they are always looking for ways to help.”

 Which also pretty much sums up Walt Fales.

Photo of the Month Green Art People
“Green Art People was proud to partner with "Hungry For Music" and Rainbow Girls; this past Friday night, to present Emily, age 9, with a brand new guitar. Emily has been truly "hungry for music" and has been wanting to learn.  How amazing is it that she got it from her favorite band full of lady rockers?  Green Art People will be providing lessons and ongoing support for Emily.  It was an incredible moment for all involved. Can't wait to hear Emily rock!”
For more info - click for the Events page on our website:
Stories of Music

 We are honored to be asked to submit success stories from our music instrument donation program. Looks like a great project.  Check them out!


Testimonial of
the Month
"Thank you! The cello is amazing! She is auditioning for youth orchestra soon. She couldn't play in fall, although she made it, because she didn't have a cello. She has done cello for school since 4th grade. She loves music and is therapy for her since she was seven. Now that she has a cello, I am looking into a summer string camp for her and she just signed up for senior year orchestra " Hannah's Mom
For more info - click for the Events page on our website:
For more info - click for the Events page on our website:

Cathy Plays A Drum Donated by Hungry For Music (from Spark Solutions)
New Partnership

Mi Música is a music education program at La Casita Cultural Center, where children ages 5 and up learn to play the piano and/or violin. Classes are offered by professional concert violinist and piano instructor Sara Silva, an alumna of Syracuse University’s Setnor School of Music. Silva also produces La Casita’s annual recital, Música del Corazon, featuring accomplished musicians who join this effort to support the music education program.  It follows the El Sistema music program that was established in Venezuela. Hungry for Music is donating five violins and one viola that will allow three students to participate in Mi Musica program.  We look forward to supporting more students in the future.


Tribute to Nils
Lofgren DVD

With appreciation to BandHouse Gigs for donating their inventory of these limited edition DVDs to benefit HFMs Instrument Donation Program.

Click for info/purchase:

View this email in your browser
You are receiving this email because of your relationship with Hungry for Music. Please reconfirm your interest in receiving emails from us. If you do not wish to receive any more emails, you can unsubscribe here.
This message was sent to hungryformusic@att.net by hungryformusic@att.net
2020 Pennsylvania Ave. NW , #384, Washington, DC, 20006

Unsubscribe | Manage Subscription | Forward Email | Report Abuse