Blues Harp Summit
Other supporters of the event include The Southern Music Network of Alabama, who have donated a case of 100 harmonicas to the children to be taught at the event; Hohner Harmonica Company has donated an additional 50 harps, plus advertising funds to permit a souvenir program to be issued; Lee Oskar Harmonicas has donated a dozen valuable player-autographed harmonicas to be used as raffle prizes in a book and record donation campaign for the Center, as will be 10 vintage Sonny Boy tee-shirts donated by the Hohner Company.
All player/teachers and other supporters of the event are volunteering their time and skills without pay to benefit the Center and the town of Glendora, an extraordinarily impoverished community even by the usual dire standards of the Mississippi Delta area. With a population of 400, more than 93% of its inhabitants live more than 50% below the poverty limit. Children comprise 167 of Glendora's citizens, many of whom are relatives of Sonny Boy Williamson but had never heard his music until a video about him was shown at the Center's dedication last August. Glendora's mayor, Johnny B. Thomas, is himself a cousin of Sonny Boy on his mother's side.
Selected portions of the harp teach-in and the Harp Summit performances will be netcasted via the Southern Music Network, as well as archived on their web site for listening. Several national and regional music publications and broadcast entities will also be on hand to report on the event.
Additional corporate and private funding is needed to help defray the travel expenses of the player/teachers who are volunteering their time; interested sponsors can contact Maggie Mortensen, the volunteer coordinator of the event, by telephone at 530.873.9048 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Efforts are also being made to secure performance dates on the evenings of the teach-in weekend for the "harp summit" players in the Memphis/North Mississippi area to help reimburse the volunteer teachers for their time.
The Sonny Boy Williamson Community Center and Library is in need of all of the kinds of items imaginable: books, records, videos, computer equipment, etc. Mayor Thomas's own particular wish is for video equipment which would enable the Center to offer skills training to Glendora's residents via satellite connections.
Individuals interested in donating books, records, or equipment to the Sonny Boy Center can send them in care of:
Mr. Tom Freeland
where they will all be collected for a mass presentation to the Center at the time of the Harp Teach-in Weekend.
Financial donations to the Center should be made out to:
Sonny Boy Williamson Community Center and Library
All contributions will be tax-deductible under the Glendora ECDC's non-profit status, and all donors will be eligible to win the premiums donated by supporters.
Updates on the event itself as the date draws nearer, including
additional player/teachers and sponsors as they are added, will be
available as a page on Andrew Campbell's "official" Sonny Boy Williamson
web site at