Welcome to Friends for the Advancement of Musical Education

F.A.M.E. is a Non-Profit Tax Exempt 501(C)(3) Organization , which is committed to the betterment and preservation of music for the next generation. Our goal is to make sure that every child who wishes to be in the music program at their school has the opportunity, no matter what their family’s financial status may be.

We gift musical instruments to schools. The schools in turn make the instruments available to students whom may not have an opportunity to play an instrument. 

To date we have donated more than $68,000 worth of instruments to approximately six local schools in Sarasota and Charlotte counties.

We enjoy receiving feedback from teachers telling us how our donations have impacted their students.

"The orchestra at Heron Creek Middle School (North Port) has been growing more and more each year. Your willingness to help and your generosity are greatly appreciated to help all of the students have a successful music career here at HCMS. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help support your fabulous organization!"
Sarah L Cooper, HCMS Orchestra Director

We will be posting more feedback in the future, so stay tuned.



Pictured above are: Billy Smith (a.k.a. DelRay), Dot Bianche, Barry Bianche, Jim Pivovar, Denise Pivovar, Linda Stevens, Tom Hennegan, Sharon Hennegan

F.A.M.E. began in the summer of 2006 when two friends, Jim Pivovar and Barry Bianche, were discussing how music has influenced many lives, including their own. It was through the appreciation of music that Jim and Barry met, as Barry played bass in a band, and Jim was enjoying the music. 

During a discussion they decided they would like to give back to the talented musicians in their community.

"We appreciate the time and talent our local musicians give to people who are in need," says Jim. "They are always donating their time, and we want to say, 'Thank you for your generousity.'"

So, Jim and Barry came up with an idea to develop a promotional calendar highlighting local musicians. This project evolved into a fundraising endeavor to help the next generation of professional musicians.

"At first, we were out there to support local musicians," says Jim. "Then we realized just how passionate we were about this mission. We looked around us and became aware that we had met all of our friends through music."

Their first calendar was released in 2006, "FRIENDS, Music Brings us Together," which celebrated the year 2007. After selling their first calendar publication they asked, "What are we going to do with this money?" 

Many of their friends were watching their philanthropic gesture, and suggested that a fundraiser be developed to further their mission. In December, 2006, they held their first three-day music festival at Coconut Grove (now Englewood's on Dearborn). All bands that played at the festival donated their time and talent. This tradition would be the cornerstone for future events to raise money for the kids. With a team of passionate people, $5,400 was raised. They decided the best way to appropriate the funds was to help out the next generation of musicians. And to do so, they donated the proceeds to Lemon Bay High School in Englewood.

Their second calendar (2008) was published as "Mentoring Thru Music, Play it Forward." The three-day music festival was held at Pioneer Park on Dearborn Street where $8,200 was raised and donated to L.A. Ainger Middle School in Englewood.

On December 30, 2008 they arrived at the name that stuck, "F.A.M.E., Friends for the Advancement of Musical Education, Inc." A 2009 calendar was published and the three-day music festival was held at the Blue Lagoon off Placida Road. Their donation in 2009 consisted of a variety of instruments to L.A. Ainger Middle School including: 
2 Euphoniums
2 Tubas
1 Flute

A three-day block party was established on Dearborn Street.
A donation of instruments was made to:
L.A. Ainger Middle School:
  3 saxaphones
  1 tuba
  1 french horn
  1 trombone
Englewood Elementary School:
  30 recorders
Heron Creek Middle School (North Port):
  25 violin shoulder rests
  2 cellos
Vineland Elementary School:
  30 recorders
  1 mallet stick set
Lemon Bay High School:
  2 sousaphones

With the success of the past four years, the event demanded a larger venue. It became increasingly challenging for F.A.M.E. to find a location that would accommodate the large crowds that were attending the event. After searching for a local venue, obstacles kept presenting themselves, and they landed at Oyster Creek Park on San Casa Road in Englewood. To be quite frank, attendance for this event dropped off because of the severe change in location. But, loyal supports forged on, and began planning 2011. Ten band-in-a-box sets were donated to Adventures Preschool.

A beautiful thing happened! "F.A.M.E. Presents Music City" premiered. The committee came together and literally built a city reflecting local establishments. The three-day music festival had a new look, and returned to a former location, Pioneer Park on Dearborn Street. A donation of instruments was made to:
L.A. Ainger Middle School
  12 clarinets
   2 tubas
   2 oboes

L.A. Ainger Middle School

L.A. Ainger Middle School
   3 Tubas
   3 Euphoniums
Lemon Bay Highschool
   1 Oboe
   1 Acoustalon Marimba
Boca Grande Island School

We are planning this years event on November 14 & 15

So there you have it, bada-boom!