Stacy Featured in Statewide Newsletter!

unnamed (2)

AmeriCorps VISTA Stacy Drake Takes the Plunge in Berkley Springs!

The love of helping others can make volunteers do some pretty crazy things! Recently Stacy Drake, a West Virginia’s Promise AmeriCorps VISTA, went above and beyond to raise money for his VISTA site, BlackCat Music Cooperativein Berkeley Springs. The program offers free music classes to area youth.

Stacy promised to take a dip in George Washington’s bathtub at Berkeley Springs State Park on Giving Tuesday, if BlackCat could raise $1,500 in 12 hours on social media.

The money was raised and Stacy took the plunge on George Washington’s birthday. As he entered the cool water, Stacy said he was happy to follow through because it was all for the kids!

VISTA MarchStacy Vista with kids

Ukulele’s Historic Journey!

Our Music in Your Life series continues with an incredible story about a famous ukulele. Our sincere thanks to Helen Overly, for sharing this story from The Daily News, Huntingdon, PA.

The Konter Ukulele may be the most valuable ukulele in the world. It was owned by Richard Konter, “Ukulele Dick,” who joined Admiral Richard Byrd’s famed expedition to the North Pole in 1926. During the expedition, he obtained signatures at every opportunity, including those of all 45 crew members of the Admiral Byrd expedition and the Admiral himself. It’s the only artifact that traveled to the North Pole because it was smuggled under the seat of the airplane. The ukulele also made a trip to the White House and was signed by President Calvin Coolidge, along with the vice president, the secretary of state, the secretary of the Navy, Theodore Roosevelt Jr., Amelia Earhart, Thomas Edison, Charles Lindbergh and many, many more. The soprano ukulele contains more than 155 signatures. The replica includes all signatures, which have been carefully laser-etched into the beautiful koa wood. The soprano ukulele also features vintage style violin peg tuners and a replica of the original interior label.

Uke Orig 3            Uke original

 “THE ORIGINAL KONTNER UKULELE”

Dad’s trumpet for a guitar!

As we continue our “Music In Your Life” series, the spotlight shines on Sir Paul McCartney. Paul’s dad played trumpet and piano and even had his own band, “The Jim Mac Jazz Band.” Jim had a upright piano in the home and encouraged Paul to take lessons, but young McCartney liked playing by ear.

On Paul’s 14th birthday, his dad gave him a nickel plated trumpet, but soon after, with rock and roll music becoming popular, he traded it on an acoustic guitar. Because he is left handed, it was hard to play, so he reversed the order of the strings. One other note from the early days, Paul wrote “When I’m Sixty Four” on his dad’s upright piano in the living room when he was about 16! John Lennon remembers the Beatles singing the song as part of an acoustic set, whenever their amplifiers broke down or the power would go out at the clubs in the early days of the band.