A unique, large-scale, global fundraiser to benefit veterans is about to be launched in Hoboken.
Project 11, organized by a group of students from Stevens Institute of Technology and Stevens Professor David Musial, asks college bands from countries allied with the United States to submit songs for an album, all the proceeds from which will go to charities for veterans of war.
The project is expected to be announced on FOX News on Nov. 11, officially inviting musicians to pitch in to the cause.
The student-run record company, Castle Point Records, is producing the album, and the students are part of a group called Stevens Multimedia.
“The album will drop on Memorial Day 2012, but on the Sunday of that weekend we’re planning on throwing 11 concerts in Memorial Day weekend vacation spots,” said Noriel Valdes, a senior and president of Castle Point Records.
The project is expected to be announced on FOX News on Nov. 11.
“It’s a dreamy idea, but you never know what could happen,” Musial said.
Album will be on iTunes
The artists from the bands will be able to choose which charity they would like the money to go to, provided the charities donate a certain percentage of the funds directly to veterans in need.
The album, which is expected to garner national attention, will be sold on iTunes.
The top 11 songs will be sold on the iTunes album, and the other songs submitted will be featured as bonus tracks on ProjectEleven.org.
“This way the artist will know their songs will still help the cause,” said Rodrigo Gualberto, a student and past president of Castle Point Records.
The group produced a public service announcement which they hope will air in the coming weeks on major networks, and the video is also embedded on the website.
Corey Phillips, a student at Stevens, completed the music for the PSA, and said he will be using different songs on different versions of the PSA to appeal to the various areas of the nation, because the contest will have a global reach.
The group’s research for the project stretched down to Washington, D.C.
Hart Welles is the vice president of Castle Point Records.
“We got a chance to talk to a whole bunch of people involved in charity work [in Washington],” Welles said. “We made good connections and we were able to see different veterans’ charities, so we have a good scope on what exactly we want to be supporting with this album.”
Charlie Salerno, a first year student, is working on a song for the album with his band, Cooking with Betty White.
“The lyrics we have right now are for a message of hope,” Salerno said. “The chorus is, ‘I sing this song for you,’ meaning we appreciate the [veterans] sacrifice and we hope to thank them for that.”
Jacqueline Stenroos, who has over 500,000 YouTube hits for her music, is also planning to sing a song for the album.
“It’s a little bit of a pop type song,” Stenroos said. “There’s a similar message about hope and standing together.”
Lindsay Altongy is a first-year student whose photograph of the World Trade Center site, taken from Jersey City before construction on the Freedom Tower began, is used in the PSA.
“I was always looking for a way to use this photo,” said Altongy, who added that she hopes to one-day compile a book of her photographs.
For others, the reason for work on the album is more personal. John Baldassano, the treasurer of the group, said his experience in a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) high school has resulted in a greater appreciation for the military.
The group hopes to make people aware of the charities, Gualberto said.
“We want to show the country and even the world that it’s possible for anyone of any age to contribute to what’s going on in the world,” Gualberto said. “It’s not just about the adults.”
The students also thought it was an important project to tackle because they realize many of the soldiers overseas are the same age as college students, and they wanted to contribute in some way to say thank you.
Many of the students say they plan on entering the music industry when they graduate from Stevens.
For more information about the project, visit ProjectEleven.org.
Ray Smith may be reached at RSmith@hudsonreporter.com