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Dec 11, 2008

A Guiding Light: Mystic artist named one of the music industry’s Top 50

by Susan Cornell
Special to the Times

A Guiding Light

One of the music industry’s oldest and most widely distributed magazines has named Mystic songwriter Bill Pere one of the “Top 50 Innovators, Groundbreakers, Iconoclasts, and Guiding Lights” in the music industry. The December 2008 issue of Music Connection magazine, found online at www.musicconnection.com/digital, recognizes Pere, along with many other recognizable names in the business.
     Pere, the founder of Local United Network to Combat Hunger (LUNCH), executive director of the Connecticut Songwriters Academy, and official Connecticut State Troubadour, said although he felt honored when he was notified that he would be recognized, he became even more so when he saw the other honorees.
     “They were all very recognizable names so I’m quite honored that they saw fit to put me on that, and the fact that they cited my work with LUNCH and the hunger effort. That always makes me feel good to know that’s recognized by people to be an important part of the music world,” Pere said.
     LUNCH is an all-volunteer program that combines arts, education, and community outreach. The nonprofit follows the example set by singer-songwriter Harry Chapin, using the power of popular music to produce positive social action. Activities raise money and awareness for programs which address basic human needs such as food, clothing, shelter, and counseling.
     Founder of CD Baby Derek Sivers, head of Just Plain Folks Brian Austin Whitney, and the head of Taxi Michael Laskow are found on the Top 50 list with Pere.
     Top 50 candidates come from nominations. While Pere did not know originally who nominated him, he did learn that it was one of his long-time colleagues—“someone who is starting a nonprofit of their own helping out special needs kids,” Pere notes. 
     “Aside from the work I do in the music industry through the Connecticut Songwriters Association and so on, the thing that they thought was different was the work that I do with LUNCH, using music to produce positive social action and involving kids in raising money for social services,” he explains.
     Pere adds, “I’ve always believed there is a power for social change inherent in music and songwriting that anyone can tap for the greater good, and artists have only to harness it and focus it to make an impact. I’ve been getting more requests to teach my seminar on how to do successful benefit events, and in this economy, the voices of artists and songwriters can become more influential, depending on what we choose to make those voices say.”
     In 2009 Pere will release his book on songwriting, which is “aimed at enabling songwriters to maximize the power of the message they choose to put forth.”

Originally printed in The Mystic River Press,, December 11, 2008

click here for the Music Connection Article

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