Alice Bidoae, student at HALS Middle School, has been named the winner in the VH1 Save the Music Foundation’s national Les Paul Legacy Contest. HALS will now receive a Les Paul Epiphone Electric Guitar and Amplifier for their music program.
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.
Each year, students are tasked with creating an instrument inspired by their reading of Les Paul, Guitar Wizard. They have to name their instrument invention and write a 100-word essay describing how Les Paul inspired their creation, how their invention creates sound and what lessons they learned from the book.
“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,” states the Foundation’s Program Director, Jaclyn Rudderow. “Students are inspired by Les and will carry his legacy into the next generation.”
Kevin Hebert, HALS Music Teacher, asked students to submit their entry and then according to guidelines, submitted only one entry for the national contest. For Hebert, selecting Bidoae’s work was an easy decision.
“Alice is a bright student who always puts forth her best effort,” said Hebert. “Les Paul’s recordings, musical compositions and inventions continue to inspire us all and Alice conveyed this theme in her essay. The Les Paul guitar we received will be both a visual and musical reminder of his influence on all of us.”
From there, VH1 Save The Music Foundation selected three finalists, with Bidoae being one of them. The finalists had to create a video demonstrating how their instrument invention works, while sharing something they learned about Les Paul and how he has inspired them.
“The instrument I created is called a ‘Multi-insono.’ Les Paul helped to inspire me by finding ways to create sound with electricity and vibrations,” said Bidoae. “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. The lessons I learned from the book is that technology can improve the music we hear, you can create your own music, and you shouldn’t give up on your dreams.”
In addition to receiving the guitar and amplifier, Bidoae’s video will be featured on VH1STM’s social media platforms and e-newsletter. Hebert said the guitar will be used with the HALS Guitar Ensemble at all of their concerts.
“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,” said Elizabeth Crooks, Principal of HALS. “VH1 Save The Music has fostered this creativity year after year throughout the nation, and HALS is thankful for this recognition.”