Patrick Stone rockin’ his Virgin Black threads on stage
PHOTO: Diana Gaulda
“I was asked to join The Traveling Guitar Foundation in April, 2013. After learning about the program, I knew I had to be a part of it.
The Traveling Guitar Foundation’s mission is to provide assistance and support to instrumental music programs in school systems in need. They strive to ensure that elementary and high school students have access to music education and musical instrument instruction while they are in their school years. The foundation accomplishes this mission in two ways: one is to travel to schools and put on a music educational clinic for the kids – providing musical instruction, performance, and discussion on a wide variety of topics related to music, instruments, and music education. The other is that they donate guitar kits and other instruments directly to the schools to supplement their music programs. This alleviates the financial burdens on the schools and helps them maintain sustainable musical education programs.
So, I joined the all star group, including founder Damon Marks (Alicia Keys), Oz Fox (Stryper), Allen Steelgrave (Shecter Guitars) and Derek McKieth. Our first mission, The USO Tour, Germany.
The United Service Organizations Inc. (USO Show) is a nonprofit organization that provides programs, services and live entertainment to United States troops and their families. Since 1941, it has worked in partnership with the Department of Defense (DOD), relying heavily on private contributions and on funds, goods, and services from various corporate and individual donors. Although congressionally chartered, it is not a government agency. The USO operates 160 centers worldwide.
We landed in Stuttgart, Germany at 8am that Monday morning, June 19th and went right to work. I think we did 16 shows and donated over 32 guitars and gear in less than one week. High Schools, Hospitals, Bars, Barracks, even the shopping mall at The Ramstein Air Force Base. The most touching moment I have to say was playing for some troops on the bus, on their way from the battlefield in Afghanistan back home to the US where they would receive top care for their injuries. These guys gave everything for us and it was an honor to be part of the team taking care of them. While they gassed up the truck to take them to the Aircraft bound for America we gave them our 4 part harmony versions of ‘Leaving On A Jet Plane’ and ‘Country Roads’. I think for a few moments they found happiness. I know we all felt truly blessed. Allen actually started to cry, and behind my sunglasses, I did too. The whole tour was very moving. As a finale we joined the United States Air Force Band for a concert. Most bands can’t hold a candle to these guys. Great musicians. A perfect end to a perfect tour.
The Traveling Guitar Foundation and I will join the USO again this year for tours to Italy and Japan in the fall. Rock N Roll!”
Patrick Stone officially endorsers Virgin Blak Clothing