Traverse City Record-Eagle

Arts & Entertainment

September 13, 2013

TC fundraiser is one-song marathon

TRAVERSE CITY -- It’s an idea folk icon Woody Guthrie might have thought of himself.

Stake out an area along a busy street corner, organize a 72-hour performance marathon of the song “This Land Is Your Land” and donate the money raised from pledges to humanitarian organizations.

That’s what Empire musician and subsistence agriculture expert Chris Skellenger hopes to do with his Music Marathon, Sept. 17-20 in downtown Traverse City.

Skellenger is calling on area musicians, singers, supporters and bystanders to participate in the event.

He believes it will create an unofficial world record for continuous live song performance.

“We checked with Guinness (World Records) and they said there isn’t a category for this,” he said.

The marathon will be staged during the day on business property at the corner of Front and Cass Streets near Cherry Republic and at night in front of Horizon Books on Front. Up to 100 participants are needed to keep the song going continuously from noon on Tuesday to noon on Friday.

“We’re encouraging people to sign up for a four-hour block of time and we’re going for an average of four people to cover a four-hour block,” said Skellenger, who plans to post the lyrics of all seven verses of the song so anyone can participate. “You can sing, play, recite it as a poem or give it as a political speech. You can whistle it. You can bring your own kazoo, and we’ll have toy pianos there.”

The event will raise money for Skellenger’s Buckets of Rain, which helps create community vegetable gardens in inner-city areas like Detroit and Guatemala City, Guatemala, and for Great Lakes Friends of Safe Passage, which helps educate children of families that live and work in the Guatemala City garbage dump community.

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