I started my non-profit called Music for the World in 1996 which is an organization that basically helps the poor with the wonderful gift of music both in desperate areas in the United States and in third world countries. We provide musical instruments, concerts, training, tour support, etc. which has impacted numerous communities throughout the world in wonderful ways!
Music For The World began in late March of 1996 by founder and president, Katherine L. Bunker. After graduating cum laude with a degree in Music Education from Olivet Nazarene University in Kankakee, IL, Katherine began her teaching experience in music in both public and private schools, along with teaching private lessons. She saw how her students and the people in various communities attending their concerts were impacted in such a positive way by the wonderful gift of music. During high school and college she performed in various city orchestras and also began composing her own songs. In college she was also able to do her student teaching with string students using the Suzuki method and was amazed at such incredible talent in such young children.
Katherine eventually married her husband David who is also a musician. They, along with some other friends, formed a band called Shelter that ended up getting signed to Benson Records in Nashville, Tennessee in the early 80's. Katherine left her classroom teaching position to tour the country and perform with Shelter. She also started her booking agency, KB Productions, at that time and booked Shelter. Katherine has booked and promoted artists such as Phil Keaggy, Sixpence None The Richer (for six years), Iona, Steve Bell, Bob Bennett, This Train, Jason and the G-Men, Ben Okafor originally from Nigeria to name a few.
Katherine has also promoted events and concerts with Rich Mullins, DC Talk, Michael W. Smith, Take 6, Audio Adrenaline as well as others. As the result, Katherine has interfaced with music and musicians throughout the world for the past three decades.
Katherine has always had a deep love for the less fortunate. Her travels deeply impacted her awareness of the power of music and also the overwhelming need for resources, training and encouragement. Out of these travels and experiences came the vision for an organization that could encourage, enthuse, and empower those in third and fourth world countries, as well as in urban and rural areas throughout the world. In March of 1996, Katherine shut down her office in Illinois one day and went on a three hour drive and finally ended up sitting by a beautiful lake in Wisconsin to ponder how to bless the poor with music. Thus, that spring day the organization of Music For The World was birthed.
For nearly three decades Katherine Bunker, founder & president of Music for the World, has been involved in music related activities. As an artist, teacher, composer, performance in city orchestras, agent and manager, Katherine has interfaced with music and musicians throughout the world. Her travels deeply impacted her awareness of the power of music and also the overwhelming need for resources, training and encouragement. Out of these travels and experiences came the vision for an organization that could encourage, enthuse and empower those in third and fourth world countries as well as in urban and rural areas throughout the world. It is this passion that under girds the many facets of Music for the World.
Music For The World desires to enrich and empower the music of indigenous people as well as those in urban areas throughout the world by accessing them to musical instruments and opportunities that they may otherwise not be privy to. The underlying belief of Music For The World is that the language of music is a perfect tool for bringing together the diverse cultures of the world. By providing instruments and opportunity for local musicians, Music For The World, hopes to enhance musical expression on the local level and interface the resources of those in other cultures. This musical exchange will take many forms from performances to the under-writing of musical needs and services.
In exploring the miracle of music one often discovers the untold riches of those who many may consider "the least of these". In a shrinking world where media has homogenized much of the musical tastes, Music For The World hopes to expose and enthuse many musical expressions that make up the color and heart of our world. If songs reflect some of the deepest expressions of a culture, how important then is the experience of this "musical exchange"?
It is a daunting task to locate, procure and ship the variety of materials that come through Music For The World. Much of our task is to research the needs and then access the resources. A number of on-going programs have been developed that allow Music For The World to meet immediate needs as well as the distinct and complex needs.
Canadian musician Steve Bell has been a major contributor and supporter of Music For The World.