Billy Strings donates guitars to all the students at his former school

We’ve noted in the past how the immense popularity of bluegrass guitarist and singer, Billy Strings, within the wider pop culture, is having a real influence on young people becoming interested in the music. And he just demonstrated that in a large and public fashion.

Ahead of a pair of shows at The Fillmore in Philadelphia, Billy and his group visited his old school in Ionia, MI, today, bringing with him a new acoustic guitar for every student. They pulled up in their two tour buses and a U-Haul filled with 200 guitars, with ukuleles for the kindergartners.

Though he was born in Lansing, MI, and spent part of his childhood in Kentucky, Billy went to school while living in Muir, MI after his family moved there when he was a child. He attended the Twin River Elementary School as a boy, and said that he was only too happy to come back bearing gifts for the current students.

“My guitar has always been there for me. Through good times, bad times, and everything in between. The guitar has taken me places that I could only dream of. My hope is that one of these guitars does the same thing for one of these kids. I look forward to coming back and seeing how these future musicians progress for years to come.”

He also spoke to the students before handing out instruments outdoors, masked and using a megaphone, telling them about his music teacher while he was there at Twin Rivers, and how she helped spark his interest in music as a boy.

What a wonderful gesture, and a true act of kindness for the students at his old school.

Hats off to Billy Strings!

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.