National Volunteer Week Q&A: Barton Anderson, Las Vegas

In honor of National Volunteer Week, we’re featuring Barton Anderson from our Las Vegas location. Barton is an avid volunteer who is also hosting this year’s Bringing Down the House showcase, tomorrow April 27th. Enjoy our Q&A with Barton and don’t forget to get your tickets for tomorrow’s show!


1.How did you first got involved in with Music Forward?

2016-BDTH-LV-Showcase-Barton (35)

Barton hosting last year’s showcase in Las Vegas

Being a Foundation Room member, throughout the year, I attend a lot of unique events. During one of these events, in a casual – intimate setting, I networked and socialized as I normally do at these events. I hadn’t been paying much attention to the entertainment until a moment when I heard a voice singing. Not just a voice, but a very talented voice. I looked around and I saw a young girl with a microphone singing her heart out like I hadn’t heard without having to visit a box office before. I watched in utter amazement as this young performer sang her heart out to a small group of members and guests. I asked who she was. As it turned out, there were several Music Forward Bringing Down the House students (alumni now) performing that evening. Although I had read that a portion of my Foundation Room membership went to Music Forward Foundation (MFF), I had no idea what the foundation was about until that very moment. Intrigued, I asked about Music Forward’s programs. After hearing more about Music Forward, I asked if I could volunteer my time as well to the program… and alas, here I am.

Photos from Barton’s “Get in the Game” workshop

My first experience volunteering was helping Music Forward give an award and deliver instruments to the Andre Agassi Prep School for their Give Music program, here in Las Vegas. Knowing that without the MFF’s instrument donations to the school, their music program would more than likely be removed from their curriculum, I knew this was something that I wanted to be more involved with. My next experience was volunteering for a Bringing Down the House workshop. In this particular workshop, I witnessed these BDTH students being presented with a wealth of information from industry professionals. Information and knowledge that would have taken 15-20 years in the school of hard knocks to learn.

2. Why would you say that you are motivated to contribute to help and contribute to our mission?  

It’s something that’s very close to my heart. Music is the basis for many things in this world including education. It helps us tell stories and express emotions, but on a rudimentary level, music helps us to understand the basics of mathematics (measures and bars as they equate to beats in simple arithmetic). In my opinion, it would be a crime to take away programming from those so inclined to learn.

While there are many nonprofit foundations around the country (and world) that I could donate my money and time to, this is the first foundation that I’ve stumbled upon where you, through donations and volunteering, you can clearly see how your contributions directly impact and positively affect the recipients.


Barton Anderson, Las Vegas Volunteer

3. Do you have a favorite memory from volunteering?

I can’t say I have one favorite memory from volunteering. After all, every time I volunteer, I walk away with a sense of accomplishment and pride that is unique to giving to this program. I will say, I had a few alumni approach me while volunteering for the current BDTH program and tell me how much they appreciated and valued the workshop that I provided the previous year (getting your music in the game). That would be my favorite moment if I had to choose one.

4. Why would you invite others to volunteer?

I think Music Forward and all the programs are incredibly valuable to their students and recipients as well as being a part of it, is being a part of something greater than myself as an individual. Volunteering your time to this program puts you where everything comes together at once as you witness the transfer of knowledge and emerging opportunity to these young, promising artists. This is the one foundation where you can directly see how your donation results in success.




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