The Right Tune
When Brian Reed’s son Aaron died suddenly in January 2014, the family looked for a way to honor his life and his passion for music.
“We wanted to ask for some type of donation in lieu of flowers,” says Reed, a professor and chair of UMBC’s chemical, biochemical and environmental engineering department. “I realized I had never heard of anyone doing a musical instrument drive.”
The result was the Pick Me Up (PMU) Foundation, created in Aaron’s memory to provide musical instruments to underprivileged children, and named after a song Aaron was working on when he died.
After a strong response to a request for financial donations, Reed, his wife, Esther, and daughter Julia organized a drive to collect instruments. They ended up with over 250.
The foundation gives both donations and instruments to two highly respected music organizations (Hungry for Music and Music is Art) which recondition the instruments and choose the recipients. To date, over 200 instruments have been given to children and school programs.
The family plans a live music fundraiser as well as a charity bike ride from Baltimore to Buffalo, where Reed grew up and Aaron lived at the time of his death.
“Some of the musicians Aaron hung out with didn’t have the opportunities he had,” says Reed. “Our hope is that every time a child has the chance to learn and appreciate music, Aaron’s spirit will live on as well.”
– Eleanor Lewis