Hungry for Music Notes
Thanksgiving Newsletter 2020

It’s the season to remember that despite difficulties and challenges, there is always a reason to have a grateful heart.


Since our last newsletter in the spring, Hungry for Music has been the recipient of over 1,000 string instruments from a Connecticut rental company; received a huge influx of instrument donations because of COVID cleaning; distributed over 500 instruments to programs operating remotely; featured on NPR’s Morning Edition with our partners Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM); and mentioned in the latest AARP magazine with Bruce Springsteen on the cover! 


Without our staff and volunteers, it would have been impossible to fully process all the requests and instrument donations that have recently come our way.  I am extremely grateful for these opportunities and the people who have helped us to continue to grow our outreach because of their dedicated support.  


Our Operations Manager, Dawn Nelson, has done an outstanding job keeping up with the increased email traffic from the NPR and AARP press and the help from the following awesome folks has been important in keeping the Hungry for Music instrument train going:


Billy Astrove

Evan Balmuth

Rick Birmingham

Russ Campbell 

Joe Compton

Kay Coyte 

Steve Cramer

Kelly Criscuolo-Debutts

Alan Friedman 

Rob Gerver

Linda Gerver 

Jim Gormley 

Marc Glickman 

Susan Graham 

Allan Harrington 

Kathy Juda

Holly Miller 

Rod Nelson

Wayne Rodgers 

Teresa Robertson 

Paul Tapley 

Liana Turner 

Dee Wright

Zac Weinstein 

Julie Wiatt


As you can see, there's a lot to be grateful about!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Jeff Campbell
Hungry for Music

It's Raining Strings

Hungry for Music recently received a monumental donation of over 1,000 fractional-sized violins, violas, and cellos!  We are so grateful to The Strad String Rental Company for this generous donation.  We have already distributed almost 500 of these stringed instruments in New York City, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Louisville, Virginia, and Vermont.  We will report more about this amazing donation in our next newsletter. 

Rick Birmingham and The Strad’s Rebecca Lovalvo after loading a very large truck with strings.
Storage unit in Nanuet NY where instruments are held while being distributed.
Violin Finds Best Home

Sujoy Spencer is a dedicated violin teacher who resides in Arizona.  She was one of several music teachers who brought Hungry for Music donated instruments across the border to an orphanage in Mexico in the early 2000’s. 


Recently, Sujoy reached out to let us know about a dedicated student of hers who needed her own advanced model violin and Hungry for Music was able to help. These notes are always fuel for the mission and a reminder to be grateful for the privilege of having this important music mission. 


Dear Hungry for Music,


My name is Alexis Ranno and I am a violin student of Sujoy Spencer. I began my journey with the violin in the third grade and have fallen in love with it ever since. Purchasing a violin was always financially challenging for my family; however, for years, Sujoy has so kindly allowed me to perform on various violins that she has made herself. With that being said, having my own personal violin on behalf of Hungry for Music is an irreplaceable thing, and I am absolutely in awe of my John Juzek violin. It is beyond words and everytime I play it, I am reminded of the moment when I first saw it and realized it was all mine. It is still surreal, and I want to thank Hungry for Music from the bottom of my heart. 


This unexpected act was just the boost I needed during these difficult times with COVID-19. You have inspired me and I thank you for that. It is nice to know that among all of this chaos, there are organizations like Hungry for Music who are dedicated to bringing joy and music to those who can’t afford it. I hope to take this instrument with me through college, my adult years and the rest of my life. 


Hungry for Music is changing the lives of musicians around the country like myself, and I am so happy that I have the privilege of being a part of your story. Thank you once again. 




Alexis the day she received her violin from Sujoy that will carry her through her musical journey.

A Tree of Harmony 
With scores of instruments that have reached their final playing days, throwing them out did not seem like a fitting end. Instead they could be outside and free, not hidden away under beds, closets, and attics or in a dumpster! 
Thank you to Arlington, VA-based artist Bud Wilkinson for creating the awesome “Tree of Harmony” with these worn out instruments.
The tree was dedicated on November 7th at Hungry for Music headquarters in Mt. Jackson, VA.  Longtime partners, Junior Appalachian Musicians’ New River JAM Band performed with Jim Lloyd and Jimmy Costa, and Bill Hudson and Al Coffee also played a set to celebrate the beautiful day. 
Above, Hayley Hansen from WFXR-TV interviews JAM musician Sophia Puckett next to the Tree of Harmony.  You can read the story here.

In Case You Missed It!

Thank you to NPR producer Chad Campbell for his Morning Edition story on a recent Hungry for Music instrument delivery to our longtime partners, Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM).
Listen to the broadcast.
AARP Magazine 
A mention in the latest issue of AARP magazine, circulation 23 million! 
Giving Tuesday
We appreciate your support of Hungry for Music on Giving Tuesday! 
Our outreach continues to grow and we need your assistance in bringing the gift of music to children with a hunger to play. 

Kids Helping Kids

Beau Yates, a high school musician from Charlottesville, VA held his first music instrument drive in support of Hungry for Music.  Beau wants to hold more drives in his area and perhaps start a HFM chapter.  We appreciate your effort, Beau. Impressive! 

Keyboardist Elias Cohen held a Music Fest to celebrate his bar mitzvah and fundraise for Hungry for Music.   Lia & the Boyz, which Elias is a member of, performed at the successful HFM fundraiser.  We are grateful for your creative effort, Elias. Awesome!

Much Gratitude
Jack Brantley’s accordion business is finding homes for our donated accordions for students, players, and collectors. Funds raised from the sale of collector accordions support repair and distribution of our instrument donation program. 
D'Addario Foundation received a grant award and assisted us in distributing violins in Chicago and New York City.
Feel Good Tour 
Bill Hudson and Al Coffee performed at our recent “Tree of Harmony” dedication. They also run a similar music donation program in Roanoke, VA that Hungry for Music has supported with a couple of hundred donations. 
Henry Fisher Violins 
Luthier located in Miffin, PA, donated a dozen of his beautifully crafted violins to our music instrument donation program. 
Holtzman Oil Corporation
Gave us permission to commission artist Bud Wilkinson to create “Tree of Harmony” on their property.
Keep Music Alive 
Received grant award and one of our Hungry for Music stories will be included in their upcoming book project, 88+ Ways Music Can Change Your Life, Volume 2.
Paul VI Catholic High School, Fairfax, VA
Donated over two dozen brass instruments and several music instrument storage cases. 
Terry Miles, String Wizards
Helped us distribute over 100 stringed instruments in Chicago. Terry runs a youth luthier program in Chicago.  HFM has contributed close to two hundred string instruments to his program. 
Martin Sexton
Soulful singer-songwriter donated proceeds from an August 23 Facebook Live show he performed to rehearse for future live shows. Hopefully, near future! 
Scott Tarulli 
Performed a Facebook Live concert from the Magic Room in Norwood on July 2 to benefit Hungry for Music. Scott is a Boston-based guitarist who, aside from spending time as a busy Boston local sideman and touring artist, performs live, records all over the country, and is also a Professor of guitar at Berklee College of Music in Boston where he teaches private students and professional guitar labs. 
Above, guitarist Scott Tarulli
Rockin’ in Philly
“Thank you for your support these past years.  Because of Hungry for Music’s support, hundreds of youth benefit from Rock to the Future programs each year.”
- Josh & Jess Craft, Founders, Rock to the Future 
With the help of HFM, Rock to the Future, was able to deliver 100 instruments to kids to play at home and participate in zoom music instruction. 
Since becoming a non-profit 25 years ago, Hungry for Music has brought the healing quality of music to more than 14,000 children in 49 states and 30 countries through its musical instrument donation program. We appreciate everyone who has helped us along the way and could not fulfill our mission without the generosity of others.

If you are able, please donate funds, buy a t-shirt from our online store, or visit our website to find out about other ways you can support Hungry for Music.
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