Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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August 11th, 2011

“Rock the Schools” to rescue music funding

School budget cutbacks have hampered funding to many programs students are known to embrace. Regrettably, music departments are at risk of being cut all together.

Two Monticello High School alumni seeing the need to protect these programs, are producing a concert in New York City at the end of August called “Rock the Schools” to benefit schools, and one of them is in Monticello.

The “Rock the Schools” concert is the brainchild of Alaina Bendi, Partner BTF Concerts in Westchester.

“The idea for the concert spun from me finding out that the Music Department at Monticello Schools was in trouble of being cut down due to budget cuts. My best friend, Christopher Trombley and I are products of the music program at Monticello and we decided to do something about this,” Bendi told me.

Bendi and Trombley felt the experience they had by being involved in music in school has helped shaped who they are today.

They were inspired to start a foundation to support music programs in New York State public schools named The Bendi Trombley Foundation for the Performing Arts. The foundation is now awaiting non-profit status.

“Chris and I started a concert production company together because we’re passionate about connecting people with music (BTF Concerts). This company will be the major funder of the foundation,” Bendi said.

For their first major fundraiser, they wanted to raise money by producing a concert.

Instead of putting on a small concert, they took the initiative to pool some of their music industry contacts together and do a larger-scale event.

Immediately, Live Nation approached them about being a sponsor. “It was a long process and took a lot of work, but I managed to secure two big-name artists and some wonderful smaller-scale artists that are still very well known.”

Tyler Hilton, who was a cast member on “One Tree Hill” and starred in the film “Walk the Line” signed on to headline.

Both Dion Roy and Rock/Pop sensation, Ryan Cabrera approached Bendi and asked to perform at the show because of the cause. One of Z100’s biggest DJs also approached them to host f the show.

“We’re getting a tremendous amount of support from all over. Christopher runs a successful computer consulting business and still plays trumpet professionally and I am the Vice President of a company that produces panels with top media executives, celebrities and filmmakers. I am alos the Executive Producer and Director of the TV show called Media City: Inside the Industry,” Bendi noted.

It is great to see former students caring about the future of our music departments, and working to preserve teaching the joy and healing music brings us.

Let’s hope this is just the beginning of many concerts. Naturally, they can only be successful if we participate.
The “Rock the Schools Concert” will be held on Monday, August 29th at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City. Tickets are available at and

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