FROM: George D. Goddard
TO:The Entire Global Steelband and Steel Drum/Pan Community
Re: A Call To End School Violence - The “Twenty 6® Steelband and Pan Benefit CD” and the “Twenty 6® Steelband and Pan Benefit Concert” - Honoring the Sandy Hook Victims
Open Invitation to Submit Your (or Your Steelband) For Nominations For Composing, Arranging, and Performing on the CD and at the Concert.
Dear Steel Drum/Pan Colleague:
I am writing to ask you to consider being a part of something really meaningful and special. Last Friday (December 14, 2012), twenty children under eight years old and six adults became victims of gun violence. As a father, this tragic event touched me deeply, and my sincere condolences go out to the family, friends, and loved ones of those who lost their “earth” lives. (May they ALL Rise In Peace!)
The prevalence of violence, especially gun violence, is an environmental hazard that has climaxed to epidemic proportions in many parts of the world, and this pandemic has resulted in the loss of far too many lives, especially of the young and innocent. Whether it is the high murder rate in Trinidad and Tobago, the escalating gang murders of the “streets” of “Urban America”, or the seemingly rampant mass school shootings of “Rural America”, we all share the common anguish, despair and frustration, whenever we are forced to experience these unexplainable violent and life-changing events.
As a global society, we are supposed to have “evolved” from our earlier barbaric attitudes and behaviors, yet, the frequency of violence and killing around the world, from wars between nations, to wars on “terrorism” with its “collateral” killings, to the ethnic violence in Africa, paints a much less complimentary picture. As “humans”, certainly, our ability to non-violently negotiate, avoid and (when necessary) resolve conflict, should have advanced to match our scientific and technological advancement, however, sadly, we apparently have a much longer journey on becoming (collectively) “civilized”, as a “human species”.
To that end, I am calling on my peers in the international, regional, and local steelband and steel drum/pan community to answer the “call to duty” and join me as brothers and sisters in showing love to the Sandy Hook victims and their families, by way of two projects, called the:
These two efforts, are designed to provide financial funds to benefit the families of the Sandy Hook victims, but more importantly, to provide moral support in their time of grief. No amount of money of sympathy will ever be able to remove the pain that they feel, nevertheless, I sincerely believe that “random acts of kindness” from total strangers, will help them to know (for sure), that they are not alone. As I looked at the beautiful young faces, I saw “Angels”, and they will ALWAYS be in my memory, as if they were my own kids. We MUST individually do our parts to appease hate, violence, and unnecessary bloodshed and loss of human life. ALL life is God-given” and precious; no one deserves to have theirs cut short by violence for whatever reason.
Anyone wishing to be a part of (any or both of) these projects, can submit their request and information, and attach a resume/bio with your submission. There will be a need for composers, arrangers, music transcribers/scorers, performers, sound engineers, and other auxiliary services, for both the CD and concert. More information will be provided to those who respond, and the release date and the date and venue of the concert are still to be decided. Keep in mind that this is NOT a “for profit” effort, and we are looking for those who are willing to volunteer a bit of their time, effort, energy, and spirit. My aim is to have ALL the proceeds from these ventures go to this charity cause, and there will be FULL DISCLOSURE and transparency in all records and collections of funds. A separate bank account will be established for this “fund”, and absolutely NO funds will be mingled with the personal funds of the organizing team.
The most valuable treasures we have on this earth are our children, and the most memorable moments are the funny things they say to you, or that smile they give you, regardless of how bad your day may have been. We must protect our children, not just from the acts of violence, but from the “psychic numbness” to violence, for we must be all willing to admit that they are much more exposed to violence than we were when we were their age. We must collectively address the “psychology” behind these acts as well, for failure to do that, make us vulnerable to perpetual reaction. We must look at “proactive” approaches, and this effort is a step in that direction; in the hope that a total stranger in Newtown, Connecticut, would know that the son of a man from Newtown, Port of Spain (Trinidad), feels your pain, and shares your grief. Your child is my child, for ALL children are of THE UNIVERSE! Again, may their blessed spirits Rise In Peace. And may the steelband/pan community rise to action.
Sincerely Yours In Pan,
George D. Goddard, B.A.
NAMES AND AGES OF THE SANDY HOOK VICTIMS:
May Your Light Continue To Shine…
Best of luck with this project George.