By Patrick Gormley

Donna Kerr works with students at the Old First Ward Community Center.

The SAM Foundation, in partnership with the Old First Ward Community Center and teaching artist Donna Kerr, has launched a 10-week music program for 35 youth at the OFW Community Center.

Kerr, who currently serves as the band director for Frederick Law Olmsted at Kensington school and leads the group the Buffalo Dolls, brings years of teaching and performing experience to SAMF’s educational programs.

The OFW program comprises a mix of elementary and middle school students. Kerr is building on their music knowledge each week by engaging the youth with percussion, rhythm and string instruments in order to perform simple, classic Americana songs.

By visiting with the same students every week, Kerr is helping the youth become more involved in music performances and building confidence in exploring music programs within their schools.


Veterans show raises over $15,000

By Elmer Ploetz

The Red, White, Rock ’N Blues” show at the Sportsmen’s Tavern on Oct. 24 raised over $15,000 for the Veterans One Stop Center.
The show featured the Kensingtons, Grosh, Dave Constantino and the Buffalo Blues Benefit Band and guest musicians.

“This huge success confirms my faith that musicians can do more than entertain and inspire,” said Bob James, the event organizer and a member of the Buffalo Blues Benefit Band. “They can drive drive positive change in our neighborhoods.”

Chuck Marra, the CEO of the Veterans One Stop Center said, “ “Red, White, Rock ‘N Blues is a true testament to the community of veterans and veteran supporters in Western New York.

“It’s a night filled with veterans supporting veterans, and the Western New York community wrapping their arms around those who served for this nation and saying, ‘Thank you for your service.’

“With the success of the 2nd annual Red, White, Rock ‘N Blues … we are honored to be part of one of the largest veteran fundraisers in this region and can’t wait for the concert to grow more every year.”

Elmer Ploetz

Author Elmer Ploetz

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