A group of Phish fans has sent $1,500 to Herbert Hoover High School in South Clendenin, WV. Devastating flooding in June destroyed the first floor of the school, including the Music Department, which was under seven feet of water. The show choir lost all of its equipment and instruments: piano, keyboards, amps, stands, mics, cables, drum sets, library, lights… everything! Flooding was so severe that the entire school will be demolished and replaced, adding further stress and chaos as schedules are meanwhile staggered among area elementary and middle schools.

This contribution will only make a dent in the recovery costs of the music department alone, let alone the larger community: More than 1,000 people were made homeless, and 78 business were shut down, due to the flood. However, we hope to help shift the dialogue from damage to recovery, and encourage others to join in supporting the recovery of this programs in particular, as well as supporting music education more generally. As the program’s Katherine Silber said, “I believe through music the hurt that has been in these children’s lives can begin to be heal.”

The funds come from The Mockingbird Foundation’s Emergency Grants Fund, started in February of 2004 and fueled by three-percent (3%) of the Foundation’s net proceeds. Disbursements are made to help call attention to the needs of music education programs which have been impaired by environmential damage (such as fires, floods, and hurricanes) or moral outrage (such as vandalism, theft, or political conflict). Awards are made by decision of the Foundation’s board, outside of the normal two-tiered competitive application process used by the Foundation for general grants. Mockingbird has now made $33,100 in Emergency Grants.

The Mockingbird Foundation is the leading provider of historical information about the band Phish and its music, and one of a small number of organizations focused on funding music education. The Foundation (a 501c3 nonprofit) has been operated entirely by volunteer fans of the band, without any salaries or paid staff, since its inception in 1996. It fundraises by celebrating the music of Phish, through comprehensive books, innovative recordings, creative donation premiums, and special events for the Phish fan community. With this newest grant, Mockingbird has made over 312 grants totaling more than one million dollars. For more information about Phish, see the official site http://www.phish.com or the Foundation’s fan-managed site http://www.phish.net.