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Guitar Factory students jam to raise money for music therapy program

A “Summer BBQ Jam” featuring music students ages 8 to 18 is being hosted at the Guitar Factory from 2 to 5 p.m. Aug. 17 at The Chicken Coop outdoor pavilion at VFW Post 8113 (299 Leydecker Road, West Seneca).

Part of the proceeds of the event will go toward the music therapy program at WNY Children’s Psychiatric Center.

“They receive minimal funding and have a lack of instruments, so the Guitar Factory will provide guitars, stands, strings, tuners, picks and more to jump-start the program,” a release explained.

More than 40 Guitar Factory students will be performing songs from such acts as Little Big Town, Guns N’ Roses and Paul Simon. There will also be performances from students in the business’ Summer Rock Camp that has run through July and August.

“The Summer BBQ Jam is a chance for young students to get on stage with a full band and perform songs they have learned in private lessons,” the release continues. “For some, this is the only opportunity they have to perform in front of their friends and family. Prior to the event, rehearsals have allowed kids to play together and create mini-bands.”

Playing with the students will be some of their teachers, including Jim Wynne, Tommy Z, Damone Jackson, Joel Squelch, Mike Willard and Kevin Helfrich, many of whom have been inducted in the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame.

In past Jam events, The Guitar Factory has helped raise more than $4,000 for local music education program Rock Ed and $500 for the Food Bank of WNY.

All ages are welcome and encouraged to attend. Tickets are $20 pre-sale and $25 at the door, and tickets for children under age 6 are $10. Included in each ticket price is a BW’s Barbecue dinner. Pre-sale tickets are available at The Guitar Factory (1062 Union Road in the Southgate Plaza, West Seneca).

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