Since they began making regular visits to cities and towns outside the US in conjunction with the US Department of State, Chicago’s Henhouse Prowlers have launched a couple of educational initiatives through their non-profit, Bluegrass Ambassadors.
This past few years, the band has been taking bluegrass music to people in Africa, the Middle East, and eastern Europe to give residents a chance to meet Americans and learn about us and our country on a person-to-person level. Especially with young audiences, the music and the unfamiliar instruments break the ice immediately, and allow the Prowlers to act as emissaries as well as diplomats.
As they plan now for a trip to the Czech Republic, the band has received a grant of $2500 from musical instrument supplier, Reverb.com, to purchase bluegrass instruments to take along for a pair of programs they will execute on the trip. The band will offer lessons and tips in workshop settings for Czech grassers eager to learn from US pros, and their English Through Music classes that seek to teach English to young people through music.
When the Prowlers arrive in Europe, they will have a dozen beginner-level instruments in tow, which will be given to young students in the Czech Republic.
The instruments came to the band through a program called Reverb Gives, a charitable effort sponsored by the online retailer.
The Henhouse Prowlers are Ben Wright on banjo, Christopher Dollar on guitar, Jon Goldfine on bass, and Kyle O’Brien on mandolin and fiddle. You can learn more about the group online, including how you can support their work with Bluegrass Ambassadors.