Topping entries from around the nation, HALS Middle School student Alice Bidoae has been named the winner of the VH1 Save the Music Foundation’s national Les Paul Legacy Contest.
As a result of Bidoae’s award, HALS’ music program will receive a Les Paul Epiphone Electric Guitar and Amplifier.
The Les Paul Foundation says that,
The VH1 Save The Music Foundation partnered with The Les Paul Foundation to create a unique contest using a curriculum based off the book Les Paul: Guitar Wizard by Bob Jacobson. Each year, they encourage students throughout the country to keep the legacy of Les Paul alive by participating in this contest.
Students in the contest create an instrument inspired from their study of Jacobson’s book. Students name their instrument and compose an essay telling how their invention was inspired by Les Paul.
“The instrument I created is called a ‘Multi-insono,’” said Bidoae. “Les Paul helped to inspire me by finding ways to create sound with electricity and vibrations.”
Bidoae added, “I used vibrations to come up with my instrument which is a metal drum set with coins, paper clips, and a ruler. It has elastic bands with various sounds that you could play with the drums. It also includes a funnel to echo the sound.”
Jaclyn Rudderow, VH1 Save The Music’s Program Director said that, “Our Partnership with the Les Paul Foundation has allowed students from VH1 Save The Music partner districts all across the country the opportunity to engage their students in learning about Les Paul’s legacy. Students are inspired by Les and will carry his legacy into the next generation.”
HAL music teach Kevin Hebert asked students to submit entries for the contest, and then, according to the contest guidelines, selected one to be submitted for the national contest.
Hebert said, of his selection of Bidoae’s entry, that, “Alice is a bright student who always puts forth her best effort. Les Paul’s recordings, musical compositions and inventions continue to inspire us all and Alice conveyed this theme in her essay.”
HALS Principal Elizabeth Crooks, added, “As we work to personalize learning and offer student choice, Alice exemplifies what our students can do when allowed choice and encouraged to be creative.”
From local contest submissions, VH1 Save The Music Foundation narrowed the field to three finalists, including Bidoae’s entry, who then were to create a video demonstrating their invention and telling about how Les Paul’s work inspired them.
“The lessons I learned from the book,” said Bidoae, “is that technology can improve the music we hear, you can create your own music, and you shouldn’t give up on your dreams.”
Hebert said the guitar will be used with the HALS Guitar Ensemble at all of their concerts. “The Les Paul guitar we received will be both a visual and musical reminder of his influence on all of us,” he said.
“VH1 Save The Music fostered this creativity year after year throughout the nation,” said Crooks, “and HALS is thankful for this recognition.”
Rolling Stone magazine says, of Les Paul,
Though he had a long and successful pop-jazz career, both with and without singer Mary Ford … guitarist Les Paul was of paramount importance to rock & roll as the creator of the solid-body electric guitar and as a pioneer in modern recording techniques such as electronic echo and studio multitracking.
The Les Paul Foundation says that, “The mission of the Les Paul Foundation is to honor and share the life, spirit and legacy of Les Paul by supporting music education, engineering and innovation as well as medical research.”
The VH1 Save The Music Foundation says that, “At VH1 Save The Music Foundation, we develop strategic partnerships with school districts to build sustainable instrumental music programs by providing grants of brand-new musical instruments to public elementary and middle schools. Our goal? To give every child in this country access to a musical instrument. Find out how you can help!”