Elizabeth Chappell - Music Teacher - Austin, TX
Hungry for Music delivered its third shipment of violins and violas to several deserving string students in the Austin Independent School District. These instruments are donated in honor of Amy Farris who was an Austin, Texas native. Amy attended Bedicheck Middle & Crockett High school and went on to teach for a few years at Mendez Middle, all Austin ISD schools. Amy was an active fiddle player/singer-song writer in the Austin music scene and later in Los Angeles. She performed and recorded with musicians such as Brian Wilson, Ray Price, Alejandro Escovedo, Kelly Willis, Bruce Robison, Dave Alvin, and Exene Cervanka in addition to recording her own solo CD - Anyway. As a teacher, Amy developed strong bonds with her students and kept up with their progress even after she was no longer teaching them. When she arrived as the teacher at Mendez, there were very few usable instruments in the inventory, so Amy immediately recruited her musician friends to play a benefit concert to raise the needed funds. Years after she moved to Los Angeles, the Mendez orchestra would receive donations from benefactors (that Amy had recruited) to help sustain their program. Amy passed away in September of 2009 & had designated Hungry for Music to be her memorial charity.
In Amy's honor, students nominated by their orchestra directors, receive their own violin or viola with the stipulation that they continue to be involved in orchestra throughout high school. Special preference is given to students who attend Title 1 schools and who have actively participated in orchestra for at least two years. For each Hungry for Music shipment, at least one Mendez student has received an instrument. This year, the Mendez student is a very talented violist who not only qualified for the All-City but the top All-Region Orchestra as well. She plans to pursue a career in performing and teaching music, and looks forward to receiving an instrument of her very own. Hungry for Music Foundation has enabled over 25 string students in Austin to experience the pride of instrument ownership. This has not only benefited the students themselves but the orchestra programs that they participate in as well. In these tough financial times for Texas schools, the Hungry for Music donations are greatly appreciated & have been a wonderful tribute to Amy Farris of blessed memory.