Spreading the love of music

Sounds of gen­er­os­ity: Above, Chris Ry­an (left), 18, teaches Aman­da For­bes, 15, dif­fer­ent gui­tar chords in a mu­sic after-school pro­gram at Ab­ra­ham Lin­coln High School. Of­fi­cials from the Pennypack Park Mu­sic Fest­iv­al donate gui­tars to Lin­coln High’s mu­sic

Ab­ra­ham Lin­coln High School mu­sic teach­er Tom Force wanted to in­crease the num­ber of in­stru­ments in his de­part­ment, so he wrote a pro­pos­al on the DonorsChoose.org web­site.

The on­line char­ity wel­comes classroom pro­ject re­quests from pub­lic and charter school teach­ers across the coun­try. Mem­bers of the pub­lic can give a tax-de­duct­ible con­tri­bu­tion of any amount.

Force re­ques­ted $500 for new gui­tars. His pro­pos­al co­in­cided with the Christ­mas sea­son, and some ac­quaint­ances made that their present for him, help­ing him to reach his fund­ing goal.

Once DonorsChoose.org re­ceived $500 from sup­port­ers of the pro­pos­al, it pur­chased and sent 10 Rogue brand gui­tars to Lin­coln. The ship­ment was wel­come, as the school didn’t have any oth­er gui­tars.

“You can teach a class a lot easi­er if the stu­dents have an in­stru­ment in their hands,” Force said.

Mean­while, May­fair res­id­ent Donny Smith no­ticed Force’s pro­pos­al on the com­munity web­site EveryB­lock.com. Smith e-mailed prin­cip­al Don­ald An­ti­coli, who put him in touch with Force.

Force isn’t sure how the pro­pos­al made it on to EveryB­lock.com, but Smith re­layed the in­form­a­tion to his fel­low board mem­bers at the Pennypack Park Mu­sic Fest­iv­al.

“That’s ex­actly what our mis­sion state­ment is,” Smith said of the board’s goal to in­crease mu­sic of­fer­ings in schools. “I took it to the board, and here we are.”

On Feb. 25, Smith and board mem­bers de­livered 10 gui­tars to Lin­coln’s mu­sic room.

Now, Force has 20 gui­tars, and will keep look­ing for more, in­clud­ing for his newly formed after-school gui­tar club.

“We can have up to 33 stu­dents in class, and my goal is to have 33 gui­tars,” he said.

Norm Jad­czak, pres­id­ent of the fest­iv­al board, joined in the present­a­tion. Oth­er board mem­bers are Lon­nie Goldiner, Glenn De­vitt, Bob Fin­eg­an, Lisa Greco, Steve Hartzell, Jerry Lath­rop, Harry Fritsch and Janet Tagliavia.

As part of the 2013 fest­iv­al, the Lin­coln jazz band will per­form on May 15. The Fath­er Judge jazz band and drum line will en­ter­tain at the May 8 kick­off. ••

Re­port­er Tom War­ing can be reached at 215-354-3034 or twar­ing@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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