See article "Changemakers" about our guitar programs in Ferguson in August 2017 issue of Acoustic Guitar Magazine!

Changemakers, Acoustic Guitar Magazine, August 2017

Through the power of music, these organizations are healing wounds around the world, by Patrick Sullivan: {following is text from the lead article}: The bloody summer of 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri, was unfolding before William Ash's eyes. "And i started thinking, "What could we do to make things better?" recalls Ash, executive director of the St Louis Classical Guitar Society. "We're just an arts group--how can we help?" Then it hit him. Just a month earlier, Ash had attended a guitar education workshop a few miles from the epicenter of that awful August event--the Ferguson street where a police officer shot African-American teenager Michael Brown. "I thought, 'Well, we could start working with schools right here in Ferguson," Ash says. "It would be the natural place to try to make a difference." With support from the Augustine Foundation in New York, Ash quickly jumpstarted music education programs in two Ferguson schools. Three years later, Ash's organization--one of America's oldest guitar societies--is helping to provde music education in 13 elementary schools and one community center in Ferguson and the surrounding area. More programs will come online soon. Society musicians team p with classroom teachers to give kids guitar instructiom during classroom hours and after school. And the program's high standards are making a difference. "The kids enjoy it, and they have perfromance expectations from the very first day," Ash explains. "When they perfrom, it draws parents and families into the schools." Ash's work in St. Louis area schools is a dramatic example of a larger trend . . .