A decade ago, Hungry For Music donated a violin to Nora, then a young girl living in an orphanage in Magdalena, Mexico, through a program called Bridges Across Borders. She grew up to not only play but to learn to love the instrument and all music meant to her. Recently, we donated some more instruments to Nora - not so she could play them but so she could teach others. She now has nine students at the Casa De La Cultura. We sent her violins for each of them, along with two clarinets. She said the instrument we donated to her changed her life, and she, in turn, wants to use music to change the life of others. "Playing the violin is so special. It is the possibility of advancing in life when all else seemed difficult to me (at the orphanage)," she said. "I found a family in all those whose passion is music. I now have the possibility to give the opportunity to other small ones to learn as I did. To give a chance to those without opportunities. It is a way of life - a way to support my community and to be more alive. Thanks to your work, not only me but other people in [the orphanages at] Magdalena, Imuris and St Ana enjoy learning music. I believe that even you do not know how much you have changed my life and other people's lives - through your organization and your dedication to people you do not even know."
Anthony Mullens was headed for trouble, his grandmother, Anne Shea said recently. He was a 7th grader who seemed not to fit in. He was angry at his parents, angry at school, angry at the world. Then, one day, he received a saxophone from Hungry For Music. He was one of hundreds of kids back in 2006 to begin their musical journey in this way. But that saxophone meant everything to Anthony. "It belonged to him," his grandmother said."It wasn't something he was borrowing. It was his. And it became so important to him." He began to play in the marching band and concert band at Langston Commons High School in Peoria, Ill. Before long, his grandmother said, "He started to succeed, and the school started to call for good reasons." He ended up as one of his school's leaders in competitions. And when he moved on, he gave away that saxophone to his cousin, Nicole Mullens, who also played in the concert and marching bands throughout high school. And when his own brother, Alex, was going to high school, Anthony recruited him to the band. And Alex just graduated earlier this month from Langston Commons after playing four years in the marching and concert bands. Anthony Shea is 20 now. He graduated in the top of his class in high school. Today, he serves in Afghanistan as a Navy Corpsman who supports a Marine artillery unit. His superiors think of him as a top-notch soldier. "Anthony is where he is today because of Hungry For Music," Anne Shea said. "Music kept him centered. He would've been one of those throwaway kids without it."
Dear Hungry for Music, I'm Tyron's mom, I'm contacting you with great news: Tyron has been accepted into the Baltimore School for the Arts, and we are all very excited and happy for him. We wanted to thank you for all your support and help for Tyron, I'm sure without the great piano donation we wouldn't be where we are now. Thank you again!!
Check out Tyron as the featured performer in our Hungry for Music promotional video on our Video page.