For South Snohomish County percussionist Gary Gibson, earning a Master’s Degree in Music Performance; playing professionally with numerous bands, orchestras and symphonies; teaching music from the elementary school level up to college students; composing musical arrangements and recording albums just isn’t enough.
Now the multi-talented local musician is planning to lead a new non-profit group tasked to teach kids, youth and adults to play in steel drum bands.
Gibson has launched a fundraising effort seeking $60,000 for operate Steel Magic Northwest, a new organization that hopes to operate five after-school steel drum orchestras for fifth-through-12th graders and a couple more ensembles for interested adults.
Within six months Gibson hopes to have enough money to buy 22-25 steel drums and all the necessary support equipment. Then the organization will seek a local facility to call home and begin putting together classes for the assorted steel drum orchestras.
“Yes, it is ambitious at the start,” Gibson said, “but these organizations, once they are going, prove to be more self-sustaining and self-recruiting than most music non-profits because once the community sees the result, everybody wants a piece of it.”
“We just have to get over the big phase of fundraising, finding a location and recruiting the first batch or two of kids and adults,” he added. “After that, it is all about the music and the mission.”
For more information about Steel Magic Northwest, or to make a donation to the group, see their website at http://www.steelmagicnorthwest.org/. Gibson has also posted an information video about his project at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89RYQeJU8Bc&feature=youtu.be.
– By Doug Petrowski