Los Angeles, CA, October 1, 2015: Ovation Music Fund (RSSF) Co-Founder and Executive Director Wendy Winks has announced multiple Grammy-nominated record producer, songwriter, musician, and mix engineer Greg Wells (www.gregwells.net) as Chairman of the Board. Wells will work to build the 501(c)3 charity’s profile in the entertainment industry and broaden fundraising opportunities.
“We are so honored to welcome Greg Wells to the Ovation Music Fund team,” says Winks. “We have immense respect and admiration for his talents and accomplishments, and we love his passion for music scholarships. It will be exciting to work with him to build our program into one that helps thousands of kids.”
Wells’ songs have appeared on more than 85 million albums. His many credits include Adele, Twenty One Pilots, Katy Perry, Rufus Wainwright, Pink, Holychild, Mayer Hawthorne, Mika, Timbaland, OneRepublic, Deftones, and the Count Basie Orchestra.
“My music career was made possible with the help of several scholarships, and helping young musicians attend music school is a cause close to my heart,” Wells states. “I’m frankly on a mission to get as many kids as possible studying music. I’m both inspired and honored to work with the RSSF and have high expectations for what the future can bring.”
Winks co-founded RSSF in 2010 with musician and producer Carl Restivo, who serves as the organization’s Music Director. RSSF, which currently works with more than 120 schools in 28 states, is the first 501(c)3 to provide funds for children ages 7 to 17 who want to attend any rock music school in the U.S. Students apply for scholarships based on financial need. Rock schools offer interactive rock music courses that include private lessons, performance programs that get students playing live on stage, and curriculum that teaches rock music. The number of participating rock schools has blossomed from 5 in 2009 to 122 in 2015, and the demand for scholarships is high.
“We – and the schools we work with – are continuously fundraising to try to meet the demand,” says Winks. “With music programs being cut from public schools, families need to pay tuition for their child to receive a music education, and many cannot afford it. We believe that any child who wants it should receive music lessons.”
RSSF’s mission has received enthusiastic support from the music community. In January 2015, RSSF was chosen by the Foo Fighters as one of three charities to receive donations from ticket sales for their surprise benefit concert—and all-star birthday celebration for Dave Grohl—at the Los Angeles Forum. The addition of Wells as Chairman of the Board is an important milestone in the organization’s growth.