Thursday, January 12, 2017
Making the World a Better Place...
As I readied her breakfast that first morning, Haley read a newspaper clipping on the refrigerator about Lindsay and a music CD she had produced called Lullabies of Love. Lindsay had visited an orphanage in Africa, invited various Irish musicians to record a lullaby, then sold the CD and sent the proceeds to that orphanage. Haley immediately told me she'd like to do something like that but with young musicians.
The idea was tabled for a while as Haley, at the time, was working on recording her first solo CD but every once in awhile the next year or so, she'd write down ideas of who she'd like to approach about her idea and we talked about how to go about it. Last March, we were in Boston again and Haley and I talked to Lindsay about her idea and about how Lindsay had produced her own charity CD. After that talk, Haley started planning more seriously. She wrote out a list of young musicians (under 21 years old) from all over the United States, Canada, and Ireland who she has met through Irish music.
Then Haley had to decide on a charity to support with the CD. She wanted to make sure the project would appeal to young musicians from around the world so a more global than local charity and that the money she raised would go toward the children rather than covering high salaries for people in charge. Her first and final choice was The Mercy Centre in Bangkok, Thailand. For the past four years, Haley has been invited to participate in a fundraising concert in New York City for the Mercy Centre. Mick Moloney and Donie Carroll are two wonderful, generous Irish musicians who have supported and visited The Mercy Centre for years. Last year, Haley wanted to do a little more than perform in the concert so she sold her hand decorated mutes and donated the proceeds to the orphanage. The Mercy Center is a home for abused and neglected street kids many of whom have been born with the HIV virus. The Mercy Centre is everything for those who have nothing.
Once she had her list of musicians and charity chosen, Haley composed an introductory letter telling them about her idea and asking if they would be willing to donate a track.
The positive response was overwhelming!
She created a private Facebook page for the musicians to share information. She found a friend, Patrick Finley, who is not only a wonderful young fiddler but also has a gift for graphic design. She and Patrick spent many evenings messaging back and forth to come up with a cover design. Eventually, the tracks started coming in from the amazing young musicians along with bios and photos. Gabriel Donahue, a multitalented musician and generous soul, agreed to mix and master Haley's project so we met with him one evening to go over tracks.
Once all the tracks were submitted, Haley ordered them, sent the order and bios/photos to Patrick to create a pamphlet to go along with the CD, and developed an Indiegogo campaign to raise enough money to print the CDs (along with a bit extra to help pay the shipping costs to mail finished CDs to the participating musicians in Ireland to sell). Please click on the link above if you are interested in learning a bit more about the project.
I am so proud of all the musicians who participated in this charity project. In an age when people often lament the next generation, on the Music for Mercy CD are over twenty six young musicians who have studied their individual instruments and practiced to a high standard then happily and enthusiastically put those talents to use helping young people in Thailand who are less fortunate than themselves.