Tacoma music store’s nonprofit does more than just refurbish instruments

Tacoma music store’s nonprofit does more than just refurbish instruments for young students who can’t afford them

craig.sailor@thenewstribune.comMarch 28, 2014 

The band Stolen Society is the winner of the 2013 Live it OutLoud competition put on by Ted Brown Music Outreach. The band will play at Saturday’s fundraiser in Fife.

COURTESY STOLEN SOCIETY

Ted Brown Music Outreach Benefit

When: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday (music starts at 7 p.m.)

Where: Louie G’s Pizzeria, 5219 Pacific Highway E., Fife

Admission: $10 general admission (includes all-you-can-eat spaghetti feed), kids 5 and younger are $5.

Information: tbmoutreach.org, 253-272-3211 When it comes to fundraisers, it’s hard to beat an event that couples all-you-can-hear music with all-you-can-eat spaghetti. Both are on the menu Saturday when four bands come together at Louie G’s Pizzeria to raise money for young musicians.

The event is a fundraiser for Ted Brown Music Outreach Program. The nonprofit arm of the Tacoma music store refurbishes donated instruments and then provides them to kids who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford them. It also supports several youth music programs, including Live It OutLoud (for kids 12-18), Teddy Bear Music (for children as old as 6) and Instrument Exploration Camps.

The program, which began in 2007, provided 128 instruments to kids in 2013.

Live It OutLoud groups kids into bands and provides them with a mentor during an eight-week program. It culminates in a show at the Rialto Theater on Aug. 9.

It may seem unusual for a store to give away the products it sells – and expensive ones at that – but it’s all part of being a good community member, said Ted Brown’s Stephanie Howe, who is also executive director of the Outreach Program.

“The store is in business to make a profit. But we believe kids shouldn’t be denied the opportunity to make music,” Howe said.

Howe said children sometimes come in to the store to buy or rent an instrument only to realize they can’t afford it. “It’s depressing to watch the kid walk out when instead we can help. So we don’t let them walk out,” Howe said.

Saturday’s event features two Live It OutLoud bands, Stolen Society and Fistful of Dollars. Also performing are local favorites Nolan Garrett and SweetKiss Momma.

New or used instrument donations will be accepted at the event, which is also sponsored by Maurice the Fish Records and NWCZ Radio.

Craig Sailor: 253-597-8541 craig.sailor@thenewstribune.com

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