Local musician and 2008 Warwick Vets graduate Scott Macreading, 22, said Rhode Island is exploding with musical talent, and he believes it’s important that bands join forces to help the local community.
That’s why he’s planning the third annual Spring Music Fest, a concert that will benefit the Rhode Island Family Shelter, a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week place for homeless families.
According to the website at RIfamilyshelter.org, the shelter at 165 Beach Ave. is the only temporary emergency family shelter of its kind in Kent County. It houses approximately 300 people per year, more than half being children.
For Macreading, a member of The Aquatic Symphony, a three-piece band that started as an acoustic duo in 2007, performing to help the shelter is a pleasure. He enjoys rallying his buddies who play in bands, as well as showing people that being part of the local music scene is not just about partying and playing loud music.
“In my circle of friends, almost everyone’s a musician,” he said. “We all don’t play the same style of music, but we all see eye-to-eye when it comes to helping the community and putting a better image out there for 20-somethings. We’re not all degenerates. We can be rowdy, but we have the best intentions.”
His mother, Patti Macreading, the shelter’s executive director, agreed. She spoke highly of her son’s efforts and of all the musicians who lend their skills and time to the cause.
“I’m really proud of him and his age group taking this on,” she said. “They are part of the community; they are not some trouble-making garage bands. They are really good kids, and they are making people in their age group – 18 to 25 – aware of who we are and what we do in their own community.”
She pointed out that after the first show, she approached participating musicians to thank them, and they turned around and thanked her for allowing them to help. Of course, she will be attending this year’s show.
“I’m really excited about it,” she said.
While this event marks the third annual concert, it’s actually the fourth in total, as Macreading planned a small fall festival last year to raise funds. Altogether, they raised nearly $7,000 for the shelter. The money is used for all operations of the facility, from bedding and toys for children, to general hygiene products and food. Considering the fact that the shelter serves three meals a day and three snacks a day from the food pantry, the money comes in handy.
“They need everything that they can get and we have the ability to raise some money for them,” Macreading said. “We want to take what we have and use it to raise money for people who really need it.”
The concert will take place March 23 at the Tri City Elks Lodge at 1915 West Shore Road. The lineup will feature The Aquatic Symphony, as well as a few other acts like Birds in Paintings Can’t Fly; Corey R-J; Batmyte; The Wallbangers; and Gary Palumbo.
Macreading said he’s grateful other people are stepping up to make the concert a success, like a local chef who will be serving pasta dishes and finger sandwiches.
Community members have donated items, like a gift certificate to a massage therapist, a gift card to a tattoo parlor, as well as a framed print. Macreading hopes to use the items for a raffle at the event.
“It feels really good to be doing something for others, and not in a selfish way,” he said. “I feel like we, as in all these local musicians, owe it to the community. We were brought up in this community and we owe a little something back.”
Macreading grew up in Warwick and still lives and works in the city, as he’s soon to begin a new job as a member of the direct support staff at the Trudeau Center on Post Road.
But before he starts his new job, he’ll be thinking about the show and the positive impact music can have.
“Rhode Island is really small, but there’s a lot of talent in it. We’re all not going to become famous musicians one day, but we need to do our part with what we have.”
Doors open at 5 p.m., with music beginning around 6. A cash bar will be available. Tickets are $10 each and are available at the door the night of the show.