Peace Thru Music Foundation

Highlight Reel

Tony Barnes of Peace Thru Music Foundation presented an award¬†–¬†16th Annual LA Music Awards

Students at Rio del Norte Elementary School enjoyed live musical entertainment on Friday thanks to Ventura-based nonprofit organization, Peace Thru Music, whose mission is to enrich the lives of children by providing access to music education, music appreciation, and musical instruments.

Local musicians Nathan McEuen, Chuck Hailes, Doug Johnson, and Melvin Brannon joined Tony Barnes, founder of Peace Thru Music, on the stage of the school’s outdoor auditorium in front of over 500 students, teachers, and family members for their first experience of Peace Thru Music Live!

In addition to listening to some lively and interactive music, students had the opportunity to go on stage and play instruments alongside the musicians. With the aide of guitar picks and drum sticks donated by The Guitar Center of Oxnard, the concept of “pick on strings, not living things”, and “bang on a drum when you’re feeling glum” were introduced to the students as forms of conflict resolution, while the underlying message during this performance was the importance of being kind to one another, accepting each others’ unique and wonderful differences, and understanding that each child has the ability to make their own music.

The highlight of this event was when 4th grade teacher, Ruth Araiza, went on stage to read aloud an essay her 10 year-old student, Jessica Randolph, wrote to Peace Thru Music answering the question of why music is important to her. Jessica sadly lost her mother to cancer last year, and before her passing Jessica made a promise to her mother that she would continue to play music, something they had previously enjoyed together. Her instrument of choice was the electric guitar.

Thanks to a generous donation from Mrs Beryl Bond, visiting from Kent, England, and support from The Guitar Center of Oxnard, Peace Thru Music was able to grant Jessica’s wish and presented her with a Fender guitar and amplifier. It was a moving presentation for all assembled, with Jessica’s father in the audience.

Tony Barnes also presented a Djembe drum to Rio del Norte’s Principal, Del Merlan, for students to use when they are having a challenging day. Students obtain permission from their teacher to “go bang on the drum” as a form of emotional outlet, rather than taking out any anger or frustration on a friend.

The performance literally ended on a high note as students and adults alike joined in the final (and very catchy) song of the day called “Roller Skates”!

Peace Thru Music would like to thank Rio del Norte teacher Mr. Larry Kelman, Principal Del Merlan, Rio School District Superintendent Sherianne Cotterell, Beryl Bond, and The Guitar Center of Oxnard for helping make this PTM Live! performance possible.

If you have unused instruments that you would like to donate to a child through Peace Thru Music, or you would like to make a tax-deductible financial contribution to this organization, please visit their website at, or call 805.647.6707.

Peace Thru Music is a Ventura County-based nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of children by providing access to music education, music appreciation and musical instruments through its partnerships with school districts, Boys and Girls clubs, and other like-minded organizations. Peace Thru Music provides scholarship funds, resources to build local orchestras and bands, development of music education materials, music mentors, after-school programs, tools for conflict resolution, and a support network of professional musicians and other caring individuals. Peace Thru Music is funded through private donations, grants, corporate sponsors, fundraisers and merchandise sales. (