Uptown Music Collective’s Hunger Strike

An upcoming concert, Hunger Strike: A Benefit for Meals on Wheels, is a community event that everyone can enjoy. The concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, at the Community Arts Center, downtown Williamsport.

According to Jared Mondell, admissions and marketing director for the Uptown Music Collective, the community is responding well to the event.

“A lot of people are getting behind it, especially the parents and students,” Mondell said. “There’s a good buzz going on about this show.”

Mondell added that the overall goal of the concert is to raise $5,000 for the Meals on Wheels organization.

  • Who: The Uptown Music Collective (a 501 c3 Non-Profit School of Music)
  • What:  Hunger Strike: A Benefit Concert for Meals on Wheels
  • Where: Community Arts Center, 220 West Fourth St. Williamsport, Pa 17701
  • When: Friday February 1st 2013
  • Cost: $10 Advanced and $15 Door
  • Tickets:  Community Arts Center Box Office, the Uptown Music Collective, Alabaster Coffee and K&S Music
  • Contact: Jared Mondell (jared@uptownmusic.org, 570-329-0888, uptownmusic.org/mediaroom)

All proceeds from Hunger Strike: A Benefit for Meals on Wheels concert will be donated to the local Meals on Wheels Organization. The performance will feature nearly 40 students performing songs from early 1990s grunge rock icons Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, along with a smattering of songs from female artists from the same time period.

The title of the performance was inspired by the song, “Hunger Strike,” off the album “Temple of the Dog,” in which members of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam collaborated before either band was famous.

Other songs to be performed include Pearl Jam’s hits “Alive” and “Jeremy,” Soundgarden’s “Fell on Black Days” and “Spoonman,” alongside Melissa Etheridge’s “Come to My Window.”

There will be a raffle and other fundraising events during the course of the evening, which benefit the local Meals on Wheels organization.

Tickets for the performance are $10 in advance and $15 at the door with the proceeds benefiting the local Meals on Wheels organization. Tickets are available at The Uptown Music Collective (848 West Fourth St., Williamsport) and The Community Arts Center Box Office (220 West Fourth St., Williamsport) as well as Alabaster Coffee (410 Pine Street, Williamsport) and K & S Music (1116 West Southern Ave, South Williamsport). Media sponsor for this event is Backyard Broadcasting.

“Meals on Wheels” is one of many programs run by the Lycoming-Clinton Counties Commission for Community Action (STEP), Inc. that was established in 1966.  STEP provides services to a twenty county region in Central Pennsylvania with two headquarters-one in Williamsport and the other in Lock Haven.  STEP's mission is to engage diverse individuals, families, and communities in the pursuit of social and economic success.  The STEP Office of Aging, which provides 24 different services to persons aged 60 and older, is part of STEP's Independent Living Pathway.

The Home-Delivered Program, more popularly known as the Meals on Wheels Program, is one of those 24 programs.  STEP Office of Aging has been offering the Meals-on-Wheels Program for more than 35 years.

Through the Meals-on-Wheels program, persons aged 60 and over who are homebound and cannot cook for themselves receive a complete hot meal at noon.  Meals are purchased from Frey's Commissary and Bucktail Medical Center and are packed and delivered hot from the Senior Community Centers by volunteers Monday through Friday.

The STEP Office of Aging Meals-on-Wheels Program provides 420 meals per day, totaling approximately 110,000 meals this year.  Over the course of a year, a group of 400 volunteers serves 1,000 homebound seniors. In addition to providing nutrition on a daily basis, the Meals on Wheels Program also provide weekday contact with each homebound senior, helping to ensure that their needs are met.

Seniors who would like to know more about the Meals on Wheels Program, or any STEP Office of Aging program, should call 570-323-3096.  To learn more about all of STEP's programs, please visit their Web site at http://www.stepcorp.org.

Established in April 2000, the Uptown Music Collective, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit school of music, has developed a reputation as the premier source of music education in the area, with an enrollment of more than 135 students.

Offering private lessons at all levels on guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals, as well as classes and workshops in music theory, songwriting, and styles such as the Blues, Jazz, Classical and Rock. While the primary age range of Collective students is 10 – 18 yrs. of age, the schools programs are open all ages and levels.

Along with private lessons, the UMC offers a myriad of programs including its flagship Performance Program. This program educates students about the ins and outs of major and minor performances, including direction, production, preparation and technical aspects of the performances.  The student directors for this performance are Levi Stover, a senior at South Williamsport High School, and Greg Jones, a senior at Warrior Run High School. Members of the leadership committee include Ethan Early, a junior at Williamsport Area High School and Janaya Daniele, a junior at Saint John Neumann Regional Academy.

During the past four years, the Collective has used its performance program to help raise money for charitable causes and organizations through its yearly benefit concert. Previous charity fundraising concerts have included Youth for Haiti, and all proceeds went to Direct Relief International to help the people of Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

A previous concert raised funds for the local nonprofit, the Children’s Development Center, called Reaching Beyond Limits. In 2012, the UMC’s Purple Heart Project performance raised money for the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization dedicated to assisting war veterans. Each performance raised between $4000 and $5000 for the intended charity.

“The power of music to affect change, within the musician, within the audience and within the community is an important lesson for every young musician to learn,” said Dave Brumbaugh, UMC Executive Director. “The realization that you can not only bring others joy through music, but you can also help those in need simply by doing something you love is a very powerful thought.”

For more information about Hunger Strike: a Fundraising Concert for Meals on Wheels, or the Uptown Music Collective, check out http://www.uptownmusic.org/mediaroom or call 570-329-0888.

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