After an incredible and intensive week, 25 Machinist from all corners of North America put together a concert for IP Tom Buffenbarger and over a hundred Machinists in the theatre at our educational campus in southern Maryland, The William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center (W3 Center).
The concentration of talent was great but egos were checked at the door as, under the direction of Educational Representative Henry Bagwell and Co-Chair Cody Wilder, the Trade Unionists co-operated and collaborated to bring out the best in each song.
District Lodge 250 supported two Members to join the ensemble. Ron Messner of Local Lodge 11 brought his original composition, `Working Man`s Pride` and Local Lodge 1857`s Brad Seefried rocked with his song, ” I AM a Working Man`. Brad also brought his Rock Band experience to bear to run the sound board the entire week. Business Representative Alastair Haythornthwaite performed his poem, ‘Sleeping Giant’, with an adhoc country band. All musicians did double duties, backing up others in their songs.
From re-working classics like Whole Lotta Loving and White Rabbit to orginal songs, the concert was a reminder of how diverse our Membership is in culture and interests and yet how we come together for common goals. The musical styles ran the gambit from traditional folk through jazz, country and pop to some great full ahead rock.
IP Buffenbarger did not hide his satisfaction with the concert and invited all participants to perform in September at the 2012 grand Lodge Convention in Toronto. There will be another IAM Music Project next summer for a new crop of Labour musicians. Any Member interest should contact their Local or Business Representative.
Video recording was made of the entire concert which will be available shortly. Until that time here is a report from the Machinists News Network.