Children are going hungry in the Akron area.
That is why two local music schools are combining their talents to support families in need.
The Fairlawn School of Music and the Hudson School of Music will host the first “Rock for a Good Cause” concert from 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Tap House, 2215 E. Waterloo Road, Akron.
A number of bands will perform during the showcase. Admission is $5 or the donation of five nonperishable food items, such as canned goods. Those items will benefit the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank’s Harvest for Hunger campaign.
Kurt Reed, director of the Fairlawn School of Music and an instructor at the Hudson school, said the concert will teach kids the importance of community service.
“You don’t have to be a big business or have a lot of money to give back to your community,” Reed said in a recent interview.
This wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision, said Reed, who has been in the music business since 2001. Uncovering a way to support families has been on his mind since the founding days of the two schools: Fairlawn School of Music in 2011 and its sister school in Hudson last year.
“As we opened up our schools here, I was starting to think we should get involved,” Reed said. “It should be with an event that can teach our students the value of giving back to the community.”
The bands performing Saturday consist mostly of teenagers. Some of the groups are established enough to have played gigs, charging $15 or $20. Because feeding the hungry was the point of the showcase, however, Reed felt lowering the admission was a fair change of pace.
“We wanted to make something that was accessible to youths,” Reed said.
Although the Fairlawn and Hudson schools are hosting the event, some of the bands are not part of either school. Reed said he did not want to exclude anyone from participating when he started advertising the concert.
Both local music schools try to teach students the core values of different types of music, but Saturday’s concert will focus on rock.
Reed said he hopes Rock for a Good Cause can become an annual event. He even imagines it escalating to festival status someday.
The inspiration for joining the Harvest for Hunger campaign took root while Reed was working at Archbishop Hoban High School, where he learned of the campaign and its past relationship with music organizations.
All it took was little push and he was sold.
“Kids are suffering from hunger every week,” Reed said. “A lot of them are only getting their meals from school.”
Katy Carver, a membership coordinator at the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, said she supports Reed’s efforts.
“It’s a great example to set for his students,” Carver said. “Their music can make a difference.”
Carver was one of Reed’s primary catalysts in getting the concert set up. The idea that such an event could bring hunger issues to the forefront was a motivating factor for her.
“This will bring awareness about the needs of the community,” she said. “Some of the students might not even know that their classmates are hungry.”
For Reed, the impact of even a small donation was astonishing.
“One dollar will feed four people,” Reed said of the local food bank’s ability to leverage its donations. “And to me that’s incredible.”