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CD raises funds for children's charity

Tony Brannon in centre with musicians on the Ride the Wave CD.

A new musical CD compilation proves that not only do Bermudian musicians have big talent, but they also have big hearts.

The 'Ride the Wave' CD was recently released with half the proceeds going to benefit the Coalition for Protection of Children.

The charity implemented a school breakfast programme in several schools after it was discovered that many children were coming to school hungry. School performance is directly linked to whether a child eats breakfast in the morning.

This musical compilation was the brainchild of Michael Freisenbruch, president of Freisenbruch-Meyer Group (FMG) and Tony Brannon, entertainer and President of Brannon Enterprises.

"Five or six years ago, there was an article in the newspaper about the school breakfast programme," said Mr. Freisenbruch. "It talked about the work that the Coalition for Protection of Children did and the plight of many of Bermuda's school children, who do not have a healthy breakfast in the morning."

Mr. Freisenbruch said he has three children, and they have never gone hungry. "I am one of the lucky ones," he said.

He talked with his friend Mr. Brannon about how his company could help charity. Mr. Brannon said he had always wanted to make a compact disc compilation of Bermudian artists and so FMG sponsored the production of 'Ride the Wave'.

Mr. Freisenbruch wasn't a silent partner in the project, but was heavily involved in the album's creation.

"From making this CD, I learned how willing the artists were to come together and get involved in this project," said Mr. Freisenbruch. "Tony made all the approaches to the artists, and encouraged them to contribute a track for the album.

"I also learned it was also a great deal of fun for a person who normally wears ties and suits to get involved in a creative project under the umbrella of Freisenbruch-Meyer."

More than 50 songs were submitted for consideration for the record, and 20 were selected.

The album features 20 Bermudian artists, including internationally acclaimed Collie Buddz, who exclusively contributed his song, 'Holiday'.

Other Bermuda artists include Mishka, Gita, Magma, Heather Nova, Troy Anthony, Homegrown, The Kennel Boys, Hindsight, Sweet Sess, Mikey Wild, TonyB & The Rainbow Valley Kids, Junior Steven and Squinty, Prestege, Uzimon, Batwa Hi-Fi, Secret Po-Po, HindSight, Victims of Existence, Last Rights and Michael Cacy.

Not only, is the album meant to help charity, but also Bermuda's musical community. Half of the proceeds of the CD go directly to the artists on it.

"This one of a kind album honours the hidden treasures of this small island," said Mr. Freisenbruch.

Mr. Brannon and Mr. Freisenbruch hoped that distributing 'Ride The Wave' would reap global recognition for each artist and ultimately, Bermuda. "It will help support the artists which will help to keep Bermuda music alive and well," said Mr. Brannon. "I think it is a great CD.

"Alan Silverman, of ARF! Mastering in New York mastered the tracks and polished them off so that when it is played on the radio it sounds consistent.

"He said Bermuda should be very proud of the quality of the songs on this CD. He has mixed loads of records for many famous people in his day. He did a lot of mastering for Atlantic Records."

Mr. Brannon said so far, since the album went on sale for $20, it has been doing very well.

"There was a celebrity signing at Gorham's Ltd. that did well, despite the fact that it was up against a World Cup Soccer game on television," he said. "We sincerely hope that the public will 'get behind' this project and make it a success for the benefit of Bermuda's children and the Island's music fraternity," said Mr. Freisenbruch.

"The arts do need help in Bermuda," said Mr. Brannon. "We all know that things are a bit grim for local entertainment. Everyone that plays music pretty much has a second job, or music is their second job.

"Very few people can say music is their prime job. So it is very nice that half goes back to the artists."

If this CD does well, Mr. Brannon hopes to do a second volume. Check stores locally for 'Ride the Wave' or for more information, contact Mr. Brannon at tony@tonybrannon.com or 334-8669.

Gibbons Company is also offering the opportunity to buy the CD online at www.gibbons.bm. For more information on the CD go to http://www.fmgroup.bm/ridethewave