$9 an hour for Number 9

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It recently came to my attention that for the past two years, Ed Turner & Number 9 have been paid for the Beatles benefits staged each August at the Imperial.

I’m glad to hear it.

I called Mr. Turner and he confirmed that each member of the band is paid approximately $1,400 for the two performances. That might, on the surface, seem like a lot, but let’s break it down.

The band rehearses twice a week, for at least four hours, for four moths before the performance. Mr. Turner said the weekly average is probably about 11 hours. Beatles music is hard. That’s what it takes, even for musicians as trained and talented Number 9.

That means that members of the band are paid $1400 for 154 hours of work, or about $9 per hour. Not bad, but not great either.

But there’s more, more to be factored into that number. For instance, that does not take into account the time spent practicing the songs at home, or prepping for and playing warm-up dates, such as this year’s rooftop and Sky City shows. It doesn’t include the time spent promoting the shows, appearing on television or, even worse, talking to newspaper reporters.

It certainly doesn’t take into account those things more difficult to quantify, such as the years spent becoming musically proficient enough to be able to pull off these impressive sets. How to you put an hourly rate on the time spent away from family and friends, holed up instead with Mean Mr. Mustard.

And lest we forget, playing music costs money. Guitar strings cost money. Drum sticks and heads cost money. Instrument maintenance costs money.

Of course, all this would be academic if, despite being billed as benefits, no money made its way to charities. But that has hardly been the case. This year, the concerts cleared $27,000. Over the past three years, they have raised $90,000.

For all of that, Number 9 gets paid $9 hour. If you ask me, it would be a bargain at twice the price.

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sojourner
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sojourner 08/27/09 - 08:13 am
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11 hours per week x at least

11 hours per week x at least 4 weeks a month (sometimes an extra practice depending on when the month starts and ends) = 44 hours per month. 44 hours x 4 months = 176. Numbers are way off in your post before you even factor in the minimum 6 to 8 hours or more put in each show day. Might as well round up to 200 hours then. $1400 / 200 hrs = $7 an hour. Not even minimum wage now!

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08/27/09 - 08:50 am
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Amount paid per performance:

Amount paid per performance: $700.  Getting to see performance: Priceless.

Steven Uhles
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Steven Uhles 08/27/09 - 09:52 am
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Math is hard. For some

Math is hard. For some reason, I put the band on a 14 week rehearsal cycle. Your number is much more accurate. The point remains however. This is no get rich quick scheme.

sws
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sws 08/27/09 - 11:16 am
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I agree 110%, what a great

I agree 110%, what a great performance.  Was on the front row, enjoyed every second, even Kirkwood in his bare feet.  How do you find out about other concerts they do?

augustamusician
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augustamusician 08/27/09 - 12:28 pm
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The time put in at rehearsal

The time put in at rehearsal does not reflect the total amount of work.  Depending on the song, a moment that may only take a few seconds on stage might reflect hours of practice away from rehearsal to get right.  There's a reason the majority of Beatles tribute bands stick to the material on the first couple of records - it's easier. 

 

Who is this disgruntled person who would prefer Number Nine not

play, and in turn not have raised a much, much larger sum for charity?

Unsweetened_Tea
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Unsweetened_Tea 08/27/09 - 12:32 pm
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How much money actually went

How much money actually went to charity?

sojourner
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sojourner 08/27/09 - 12:46 pm
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Try reading the article for

Try reading the article for this answer and more...

chemikool
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chemikool 08/27/09 - 02:37 pm
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Hi - I'm one of the guys in

Hi - I'm one of the guys in number 9.  

And lets not forget TAXES! I'll have to claim that money as income come April 15th 2010 so whatever number we end up at...take a quarter off the top right off the bat.

Plus it costs me a gallon of gas (I live in Grovetown) everytime I go to and from rehearsal (downtown Augusta).  At 3 bucks a gallon twice a week for 14 weeks... 84bucks roughly for me to get to rehearsal for the duration.  Factoring in the last couple weeks when we "doubled up" it could easily go over 100 bucks personal cost.  The week before the two shows we rehearsed 5x that week.

My figures put it closer to $4/hour for me.

I made more per hour than that in high school 20 years ago washing dishes.

 

Kirkwood
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Kirkwood 08/27/09 - 04:34 pm
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I'd like to bring this

I'd like to bring this correction to anyone who might have missed it.

Augusta Chronicle
From Staff
August 27,2009

A Pop Rocks blog post on June 5 and a Ramblin Rhodes column in the Aug. 20 Applause incorrectly reported that the Ed Turner and Number 9 band performs for free at the band's charity Beatles tribute shows. Although the group performed for free in 2007, they received payments for the performances in 2008 and this year.

Entropic
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Entropic 08/27/09 - 05:33 pm
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What a cynical question. 

What a cynical question.  Please rest assured that the charities they play for actually do receive the largest portion of the pie.  Have you done anything lately that benefitted a charity.

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08/27/09 - 05:56 pm
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This is in reference to

This is in reference to the “Pop Rocks” commentary by Steven Uhles. It seems that a super sleuth has uncovered that Ed Turner and his band of accomplices have accepted a “huge amount of misappropriated funds” (a couple of dollars per hour) to bring off one of the most entertaining evenings I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying here in the Garden City. And let me tell you I am going way back to the days of seeing James Brown perform in the sixties in the Music Hall side of the Bell Auditorium. Yes, there are two sections to the Bell just look behind the stage. Number 9 even beat the time I won a Tarzan yell contest at The Imperial Theater and Trooper Terry handed me a gigantic model of an aircraft carrier as my prize. What I am trying to say is that it doesn’t get any better that what we were treated to weekend before last. And it just confounds

 me that anyone would have anything negative to say about it. And yes Ed, I even liked the dancers during  “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”.

 

I wonder if Larry Sconyers ever has had to back-charge for his bar-b-que plates at a fundraiser?  Gasp! That just isn’t right! The way I look at it is we the lucky ticket holders were entertained from 7:30pm to past midnight (that’s almost 5 hours folks) Even my sixteen year old daughter and her friend were standing and applauding and begging for more! Then Ed and the boys handed over a fat check for $27,000 dollars to the Columbia County Exchange Club.

 

Charity event or no charity event I will be the first in line to buy my ticket to ride with Ed Turner and Number 9!

So to all you nay Sayers, “And in the end, The love you take is equal to the love you make”

Rick Turnbull

BirdyMarie1
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BirdyMarie1 08/27/09 - 06:15 pm
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Number 9 has

Number 9 has done some wonderful thing on so many levels ~ aside from the obvious amazing dollar amounts raised that go to our local charities there are some more subtle and equally remarkable things taking place that make us and our community better as a whole.
Behind the scenes there are people given the opportunity and  blessing of having an outlet for various creative energies which might otherwise not be given wings. People with like interests are able to come together (yes, I said come together) and be a part of something special, energized, positive and rewarding. And that doesn't stop with the musicians, or with the behind the scenes people... that extends out to our community to those who buy their tickets. As soon as their tickets are purchased they've done something good in helping our local charities. That in itself is enough reward ~ but then comes the cherry on top.
The night of the concert ~ with tickets in hand, walking down Broad Street there is an energy and excitement in the air. And that good feeling and energy only builds when you see the beautiful Imperial marquee lit up and reading Ed Turner and Number 9 SOLD OUT! ~ You are on the edge (and you can't have "edge" without Ed) about to free fall in to an unforgettable evening that is hard to surpass. All you have to do at that point is go in and enjoy the magic as the Number 9 team gives it all they've got in an amazing musical marathon that can only be done when you have the love in your heart to make it happen. So, yes, all you need IS love ~ and look at all the special magic that blossoms from it! Augusta ~ we are blessed to have them. What they are paid doesn't begin to offset their own investments. For what they do the money they are given isn't even close to what they deserve. Their true reward is the reflection of our joy, our energy and our contribution as a whole to the kids and our town. Thank you Ed & Number 9 ~ for all the love ~ we're all the better for it~! 

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08/27/09 - 06:24 pm
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I have to say, I haven't had

I have to say, I haven't had a good hearty laugh like this in awhile. As a musician that's been playing for well over 30 years professionally, I am amused at the "justification" of the compensation, which is vastly more than most individuals performing in Augusta receive. If you have any questions, merely ask the Augusta Symphony what they pay per performance. Unless you're saying that the amount of training, practice and rehearsal each member puts into maintaining their level of musicianship is somehow less than the members of Number 9?

But, God love'm, if they can get that kind of bread, more power to them. I do hate to tell you this though, while celebrities who appear on national fundraising charity shows may not be offered or may not accept compensation, you can bet that every musician who appears in (for example) Jerry Lewis in studio orchestra is getting paid union scale. 

Kirkwood
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Kirkwood 08/27/09 - 06:44 pm
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Well of course you realize

Well of course you realize that in order for me to rock out to my full potential, my feet must not be burdened with such cumbersome items as shoes.   Heh, I'm glad you had a good time.  For future gigs you can check out http://www.number9theband.com

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08/27/09 - 08:25 pm
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I think we should make a

I think we should make a bronze statue of them.

purmkinhed
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purmkinhed 08/27/09 - 09:21 pm
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Each member of the band gets

Each member of the band gets $1400 for both shows? How many guys in the band? 4? 5? So that means they get $5600-$7000 for both shows. That's pretty good for a local band. Most local bands make $400 per show and I've seen a lot that are much better at their craft. I do believe #9 is OVERPAID! Oh, and I thought they did it for charity? Guess not. What a ruse. Their show is OK if your hooked on I am the Walrus and Rocky Racoon. lol I do however, have to admit, that The Beatles did put out a few good songs. Oh and by the way, they are fair musicians at best. I've heard them play. I think next time I'll just contribute to the charity itself.

chemikool
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chemikool 08/27/09 - 09:51 pm
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Are there 4 or 5 ppl in the

Are there 4 or 5 ppl in the band purm?  You HAVE seen us play? Right?

chemikool
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chemikool 08/27/09 - 10:39 pm
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There is an

There is an action-figure-set in the works...for my own personal 3" replica of myself I requested the "light-beer-grip" instead of the more traditional "kung-fu-grip"

AugustaBassPlayer
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AugustaBassPlayer 08/27/09 - 11:21 pm
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So all the carnies at the

So all the carnies at the Columbia County Exchange Club Fair are expected to work for free right?  Every time you give that creepy alcoholic $5 to throw some dull darts at balloons, every penny from every funnel cake you stuff in your face, every dime from having your weight guessed goes to charity?  Give me a break.  There is always a cost of doing business.  I don't know this for a fact but someone did tell me the #9 concerts raise far more money that makes it to the charities than the Fair does.  I'd love to know if this is true.

I'm no #9 fanboy but from the way I see it, instead of playing in the same lousy smoke filled Augusta bars every weekend, making $50-100 a piece if you're lucky, these people are practicing each week and then playing a couple of big shows a year.  Any gigging musician in this town that complains about the $1400 for both shows better wake up and smell what you're shoveling.  You either choose quality or quantity.

Wasn't this an extremely successful and positive fundraiser?  Why was this even "reported" on?  Good old Augusta drama.

chemikool
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chemikool 08/27/09 - 11:24 pm
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 Jeez...some people... "If

 Jeez...some people...

"If you have any questions, merely ask the Augusta Symphony what they pay per performance. Unless you're saying that the amount of training, practice and rehearsal each member puts into maintaining their level of musicianship is somehow less than the members of Number 9?"

You who?  Who are you talking too?  Anybody that will listen?  Nice inference that you believe number 9 are lessors to the symphony people...thanks for that.  Feel better?  How do you know how much "training, practice and rehearsal" I do?  Is that you outside my window at night?

I had this big, long thing typed up for you, Ed, but its just not worth it...your strawman arguements are weak at best.  Trollmeter 2/10

Hate on if you like.  Hate the game not the player.

"you can bet that every musician who appears in (for example) Jerry Lewis in studio orchestra is getting paid union scale. "

So the symphony people, like you Ed, do not donate their talents to worthy causes unless they get compensated?  I can make broad, unfounded generalizations too!

"But, God love'm, if they can get that kind of bread, more power to them."

Yup, we had fun playing great music, got compensated for it which is absurd to some people for some reason, and raised a bunch of money for charity.  I'd call that a win-win in my book.

"I have to say, I haven't had a good hearty laugh like this in awhile."

Agreed

chemikool
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chemikool 08/27/09 - 11:26 pm
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Aww thank you Birdy!

Aww thank you Birdy!

chemikool
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chemikool 08/27/09 - 11:30 pm
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As one of the aforementioned

As one of the aforementioned "accomplices" who made off with "misappropriated funds" I feel compelled to tell you of my next plot - Taking that shady Sconyers guy to task over his BBQ!

Thank you for the kind words Rick!

BirdyMarie1
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BirdyMarie1 08/27/09 - 11:35 pm
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I have a hard time

I have a hard time understanding why people feel threatened by this. Are these people paid less than minimum wage for their "craft" and feel this is not only acceptable, but everyone should make less than minimum wage or not be compensated in even the smallest way for their time and investments?
 
Everyone is entitled to their opinion... even if it isn't right. It is their opinion ~ they can own it and live within the bitter confines of it. The beautiful thing is it doesn't effect the truth of the matter or the good things that happened as a result of #9 and what they shared. All of that is so much bigger and reaches so much farther than attempts at cutting jabs.
 
No one is required to purchase a ticket to #9 shows ... no one is forced to walk through the doors of the Imperial and enjoy a rocking great evening. Yet, even without that "requirement" ~ somehow their shows have been sold out ~ time ... after time ~ after time. And crowds of people are happier and energized for having attended.
 
Also, if giving about $120,000 to local charities isn't considered "doing it for charity" then I don't know what is.
 
So, yes, if you're not personally into it~ please do feel free "next time" to contribute directly to the charity of your choice. In fact ~ why wait ~ you're not tied to waiting for the next tickets to go on sale ~ donate to them now ~ beat the rush!! The rest of us will be having a great time with #9 rocking out in the beautiful Imperial!  

BirdyMarie1
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BirdyMarie1 08/27/09 - 11:53 pm
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Thanks chem ... I just

Thanks chem ... I just didn't have the energy left for this one. 

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08/28/09 - 08:08 am
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chemikool, Maybe ya'll

chemikool, Maybe ya'll should do "Band On The Run" next!? Just don't run out of Augusta1

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08/28/09 - 09:07 am
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What are you leasing from

What are you leasing from the Symphony?

Touched a nerve, did we? At any rate, since I'm sure nobody's bothered to look it up, the concert master for the symphony is paid (depending on whether or not you're just counting A.orchestra performances or B. all of the educational outreach performances as well), that range is $400 (A.) to $162.16 (B.) Section players, who are paid per performance and not on salary don't do as well, that's $62 per performance or, for a season of 75 performances, $4, 650. 

Point being, EVERY musician that's worth their salt puts in time -practicing, transcribing, listening - working at improving their craft. But so do a lot of other disciplines, from drivers to doctors. And they don't count the time that they spend working at improving themselves and their skill against every application of that skill, it's amortized across a lifetime.

If you think that you deserve getting $700 a man for playing a concert, then just say "We deserve getting $700 a man for playing a concert." Don't try to rationalize it as something else, especially "oh, well it's not that much if you look at everything I do", because we ALL do stuff outside of our jobs that directly affect our work product. That we don't get paid for.

 I have to say that I do sense some "tenderness" on your part, otherwise why take a comment that was basically in support of you getting paid to do a charity event (by showing examples of other musicians who play charity events getting paid for their services) as an affront.

augustamusician
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augustamusician 08/28/09 - 10:48 am
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I know the majority of the

I know the majority of the good musicians in Augusta, and chances are they know me as well. I can pretty confidently say there isn't going to be another assortment of musicians put together in Augusta that is going to be willing to put in the amount of work required to do one of these shows for the same amount, much less for free. Which means, you can either have a show, raise a lot of money for charity (which I understand for the Exchange Club it has been something of a record amount) - or not. The band started out under a pretty unique set of circumstances (a 7 piece band in Augusta?), that led to opportunities that allowed things to continue. If the musicians in Number Nine are just "fair", it's such an easy thing to do and such a tremendously well paid circumstance, we should soon be seeing Augusta swamped with 7 piece + bands of better ability/talent doing one off shows of similar albums. / good luck with that

Does_it_really_matter
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Does_it_really_matter 08/28/09 - 04:44 pm
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Columbia county exchange

Columbia county exchange club doesn't run the fair.

STAK
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STAK 08/29/09 - 03:42 pm
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i'm not offended at all that

i'm not offended at all that the members of NUMBER 9 received compensation for their efforts......they deserve to be rewarded.......it does make the whole endeavor a wee bit less selfless than previously reported.......

 

what is offensive to me is the fact that numerous very fine local bands operate at a loss year in and year out........it is a shame that Augustans do not bother to look into the talent in their own back yard unless said musicians are covering Beatles music.......were the public to get behind a local band the way they get behind Number 9, this town might one day be known musically speaking for something other than James Brown.......

ankrbc
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ankrbc 08/30/09 - 12:46 am
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As someone who knows the

As someone who knows the amount of practice time both in Ed Turner's home and solo in each individual of Number 9's own home goes into each performance the public sees, I felt the need to speak up.  I know that everyone has right to their own opinion, but take the personal out and consider a few facts.

Charity - definition: Whatever is bestowed graciously on the needy or suffering for their relief; alms; any act of kindness; an activity or gift that benefits the public at large 

Notice the first word "whatever" meaing, in this case, any amount. Next graciously - kindness or warm courtesy. Nowhere is there a term of even a hint of a meaning of "without pay". Why, you might ask...because there is always a payment of some sort when you give to others. 

Understand that anytime any one of us gives freely to another human being it can be deemed as charity no matter what the pay off is.  Don't you think that when you reach out to someone and give any amount you get something in return? Well, my friends, you do! It's called KARMA and karma does not care if you get a payment in a monetary amount or a mere thank you because KARMA is the real judge and jury. 

To that point, if you know Ed Turner, any of the members of Number 9, the Number 9 Strings & Horns, their esteemed Sound/Lighting Staff, Merch Queens and all their friends and family you would know that their karma is more than good. Leading my point again to the fact that someone must being doing something right.

No one in the Ed Turner and Number 9 group ever mentioned that their performance was without any kind of payment.  Many of these humble souls are more grateful for the experience than any amount of money you could offer them. As a matter of fact, I know that each and every person involved has stated on more than one occassion that when this adventure became about money, the ride would be over.  Is that what the people in this community want? The end of a very lucrative event that affords children and families within the CSRA opportunities that were not possible, at least on this scale, before?

I feel a sense of regret to all the people involved as they have worked very hard to be a part of a wonderful 2 night event that has not only provided for the less fortunate, but also inspired the artistic abilities of many young people and brought together a plethora of social classes and age goups in one building - to now have ungrateful backlash. Again, what other person(s) or organizatin in this community can spread such a powerful and positive impact?

In another matter of fairness, has anyone asked the members of the band what they did with their "pay off"? If you did, you would know that some of them paid back local music stores and other costs associated with making this performance possible. Just another nicety - simulating the LOCAL economy.

Again, this is not a money maker to anyone involved musically and never has been. There are so many more critical issues that the people of this community should be concerned with...least of all the people who are doing good positive things that might not have been done for the less fortunate and for the community at large.

Give your time and efforts to something more concerning like people who take and NEVER give back.

In closing, I am glad that I was able to have enjoyed the performances and to have been able to be a part of something wonderful that touched so many people.

Thank you everyone involved and may your karma continue to reflect the good souls that we know you all are.

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