Mustang Outreach Program to host Sept. 15 fundraiser

Last year, Outer Banks multi-instrumentalist and 2017 International Blues Challenge finalist Ruth Wyand released a full-length album titled “Tribe of One.” The album features numerous originals, as well as covers, including Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing,” and Bob Dylan’s “Blind Willie McTell.”

The Mustang Outreach Program, a nonprofit rock ‘n’ roll-based music music education organization founded in 2012, has worked hard to bring music to youths — and now it is moving into larger digs in Seagate North Shopping Center in Kill Devil Hills.

The new location needs some TLC, and renovations, including an ADA-compliant bathroom, and to help with the associated cost of renovations, the nonprofit is hosting a fundraiser Sunday, Sept. 15.

The event, which is from 3 to 6 p.m. at Roadside Bar and Grill in Duck, will include barbecue dinner, 50/50 raffle, silent auction, and live music, which includes performances by several local musicians, including MOP instructors and students.

A suggested admission donation of $10 is asked for ages 14 or older. All proceeds will be used for needed updates in the nonprofit’s new location.

“I am pleased that our grassroots organization has grown over the years, giving more local kids the opportunity to take part in a music education experience unlike any other on the beach,” said Mike Dianna, president and co-founder of the nonprofit. “We had started this organization to provide local kids a venue in which they could learn to play and perform music that they wouldn’t ordinarily learn in school, supplementing their in-school music experience. We have seen our kids develop their talents over the years to go on to play in front of live audiences locally and regionally with the skills and self-confidence gained in this program.”

Mustang Outreach Program provides scholarships each year to families who need financial assistance. The 2018-2019 program enrollment was 26 youths, ages 8 to 16. 

Ruth Wyand, a celebrated blues artist on the Outer Banks, co-founded the program. As an instructor, she strives to ensure participants in the program receive top-notch group music lessons, including practical instrument instruction, music theory, music history, solo performance, sound engineering, and stage management.

“I love my job. Teaching kids to play and perform music is one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done, knowing it is something they will carry through their whole lives,” said Wyand, an award winning, internationally touring musician. “Music is something that can transform a person and really open doors.”

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