• January 20, 2020

Guitar show fundraiser for new nonprofit - Odessa American: Announcements

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Guitar show fundraiser for new nonprofit

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Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2019 7:25 pm

Siblings Cristian and Andrea Gonzales will be two of the performers at the 12 Keys Music Lessons December show at 7 p.m. today at La Bodega Restaurant in Odessa. 

The event is free and open to the public. It will last about an hour and feature 15 performers of all ages playing everything from traditional Christmas tunes to Jimi Hendrix.  It’s also a fundraiser, and this year, owner Dennis Harris said the goal is to obtain contributions to create a nonprofit called 21 Vets for 21 Frets.

The organization will help veterans with PTSD cope through the use of music and camaraderie, Harris said in a news release.

Cristian, 12, and Andrea, 15, play guitar. They come from a musical family that performs at Our Lady of Lourdes in Andrews. Their father, Adrian Gonzales, plays and sings for the community, as well. Waiting outside the lesson room for his children, Gonzales said he was planning to attend the performance.

Cristian and Andrea are two of seven children with one on the way, Adrian Gonzales said.

They began their guitar lessons with Harris in July because they wanted to learn the instrument and gain experience for the church choir.

Harris said the performances are always amazing.

“All the students are ready. All the students are prepared,” he said.

Harris said 21 Frets for 21 Vets was inspired by 21 veterans committing suicide each day and that a lot of guitars have 21 frets.

He said there are similar groups in other states and he’s trying to use them as a blueprint. Harris’ goal is to start the group Jan. 1 and raise $3,000 for instruments, stands and any accessories they may need.

Once he gets the funding, Harris said he can start bringing veterans in for small group lessons.

A Pecos native, Harris earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and a master’s in music education from Texas Woman’s University in Denton.

Harris also was a medic in the Army and was nicknamed Doc.

“In addition, in college I did actually take music therapy classes so I do have a little bit of musical therapy. The only reason I didn’t get my master’s in musical therapy is I couldn’t do that and work full time so I only took classes that were available to me at the time,” he said.


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