First "Busk-A-Thon" To Benefit Nantucket Community Music Center

Nantucket Current •


This Sunday, October 8th, a collection of island musicians and street performers will create a 12-hour-long performance to raise money for the Nantucket Community Music Center.

The Nantucket Busk-A-Thon will take place on the corner of Federal and Broad Streets in front of the town building. Street performers have been a part of the Nantucket downtown landscape for decades but never before have these independent-minded (and occasionally territorial) performers come together to play for a good cause. Until now.

The idea for the Busk-A-Thon comes from longtime island resident and street performer, Grant Sanders who has sung and played guitar on the same corner downtown two or three nights a week for the past five months.

"Music has been an incredibly positive force in my life since I was a middle-schooler playing my father's old trombone in the school band," says Sanders who will play, off and on, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday -- a total of 10-plus hours. "And if there are young people on Nantucket who could get the benefits of a musical life through the NCMC, as I was fortunate to have growing up, a few blisters and some tired vocal cords will be well worth it."

Some of the musicians who have committed to the Busk-A-Thon are well-known on the island music scene. They include multi-instrumentalist Ty Fleischut, NCMC faculty and a member of the local band Foggy Roots, Nigel Goss, open mic favorite Sean Sullivan, and local singer-songwriter Chris Hanson and Friends who will play at Noon. Also joining the Busk-A-Thon will be longtime island musician and busker, Billy Voss, and perhaps the island’s most visible street performer, fiddle player Bobby Maguire. Other musicians will be announced.

"It's exciting to see the community come together like this to support the NCMC," said NCMC executive director Tony Wagner. "We have a mission to keep a lot of our activities, events, and classes free to everyone. For example, we offered a free concert this summer with the Boston Civic Symphony and paid to bring 70 musicians and their instruments to the island for one day. It was a huge success, filling up the high school auditorium. We could never do that kind of thing without the ongoing support we get from events like the Busk-A-Thon."

"We have a website that can link anyone to a live feed of the event, but people on the island are encouraged to come downtown and hear the performers first-hand. Maybe throw a crumpled bill or two into the guitar case," Wagner adds. “It’s for a great cause.”

The music performed will run the gamut from classical to pop to folk. And requests are a part of the experience. Donations to the Busk-A-Thon can be made in person or online and per-song pledges are also encouraged.

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