Huckabee headlines Music Aid Northwest concert at Teen Center
Musicians and fans of all ages flocked to the Music Aid Northwest (MAN) concert at the Old Fire House Teen Center May 22.
Former Arkansas governor/presidential wanna-be Mike Huckabee, Yes drummer Alan White and MAN board members sought signatures and funds for a “Music Plates” license plate campaign to augment music education in Washington state schools.
Huckabee, a bass guitarist who performed a few tunes including “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” told the crowd, “I’m proof positive that when you can’t make it as a professional musician, you are forced to run for office.”
Everyone laughed — although frankly, when it came to Huckabee’s “stage presence,” let’s just say it was the thought that counted.
But he clearly was passionate about giving young people opportunities to express themselves through music and other arts. Those programs are often the first to be cut when schools trim their budgets, in spite of the fact that they are the reasons why many kids stay in school.
“The urge to sing, draw or act … is imbedded in us from the moment we are created,” said Huckabee. “The educational system has beat the living daylights out of creativity,” he lamented.
White added, “This is serious. The music of Yes sounds very complicated, but it’s all math. Music makes you better at math.”
Musically speaking, the night’s standouts were local high school/college rockers Shotty with sizzling-hot renditions of “Radar Love” and “Soul Sacrifice” and the worldly women of Shelly and the Curves, who channeled Tina Turner and the Ikettes on “Proud Mary.”
MAN president Bob Tomberg stated, “Music crosses generations, ages, (all of) society — we want to make music a renewable resource. … In tough economic times, music gets overlooked. MUSIC MATTERS.”
If you agree, or want to know more about the Music Plates campaign to save school music programs, visit www.musicaidnorthwest.org or www.musicplates.org.