SARASOTA, FL – Music Compound invites its members and the community to enjoy an unforgettable evening of music, food, art and more during its Shred the Love fundraiser, with proceeds supporting scholarships for area youth who have lost a loved one to COVID-19 or whose parents have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Organizers hope that the event, which takes place on Saturday, January 15 at 6 p.m. at Music Compound (1751 Cattlemen Rd., Sarasota), will raise at least $5,000.
This event, a partnership with local not-for-profit Every Child, is being organized by middle and high school students, led by homeschool student Sam Stahlmann. “Shred the Love” was originally started as an IB project at Riverview High School to support career readiness, enable students to learn how to plan and implement an event, and see the value of charitable works. The inaugural Shred the Love concert in 2018 funded the purchase of ukuleles for children with cancer; in 2019, the event funded music programs at Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County and Children First.
Committee members include Eden Stahlmann (homeschool student), Hailey Renner (10th grader at Cardinal Mooney), Macy Young (State College of Florida), Asher Voros, and Caitlyn Healey (homeschool student).
Headlining the musical performances is The Ruckus Late Night’s featuring Alex Han. Ruckus, a new instructor at Music Compound, is a Berklee College of Music alumnus who has toured the world with his hip hop jazz music group, The Ruckus Late Night’s. Han is a Grammy-nominated saxophonist and composer from New York City, who is currently touring with jazz legend Marcus Miller.
Other artists and groups that will perform include solo artists Stahlmann (who will also emcee) and Aimee Mari-Anne, and bands Craig the Skeleton, Fans Oxidation, Southbound, and Unspoken! There will also be food, art projects for younger guests, and a silent auction in support of the cause.
Stahlmann, who is dual enrolled at Learning & Families and State College of Florida, has hosted committee meetings and recruited other students to participate. He feels strongly about the power and benefits of music and hopes his efforts will help kids who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford membership at Music Compound.
“During his time at music compound, I have seen multiple students forced to quit lessons due to the pandemic or other issues,” Stahlmann said. “As someone whose primary creative outlet is music, I wanted to find a way to help these students to continue their creative growth.”
Music Compound owner Jenny Townsend reports that a number of the music school’s member families have suffered losses due to COVID-19 and/or challenges due to its financial impacts. In 2021, she funded more than $10,000 in scholarships to ensure that students could continue to benefit from classes and programs.
“These kids have suffered through extraordinary difficulties, from the loss of educational and social opportunities to the heartbreaking loss of loved ones,” Townsend said. “It was inconceivable to me – even as we were fighting to keep the business above water through the worst of the pandemic – that we would turn our backs on students whose financial circumstances had changed. I’m so proud of the event committee, just kids themselves, who are working to ensure that their peers who are struggling can continue to enjoy the pursuit of music.”
Founded 20 years ago by Sarasota philanthropist Judy Alexander, Every Child, Inc. has given out thousands of backpacks with school supplies, distributed thousands of holiday gifts, provided groceries for hundreds of families, distributed thousands of books, and worked on numerous other projects with other local agencies. Every Child, an all-volunteer group, contributed nearly $3,000 in scholarship funds for Music Compound students in 2021.
The event is open to the public; tickets are $15. For more information, visit musiccompound.com/events/shred-the-love.
About Music Compound
The Music Compound provides an environment to inspire, collaborate and educate children and adults in pursuit of their love of music. The goal is to transform dreams into reality by providing a contemporary and influential environment for musicians of all ages. For more information, visit musiccompound.com.