DALLAS (Dec. 11, 2017) — The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation (TBHEF) has announced that public relations, sports and entertainment industry leader Rick French and BMG music publishing executive David Hirshland have been named to the board of directors of the Dallas, Texas-based non-profit. Maria Elena Holly, widow of Buddy Holly and Foundation co-founder, issued a statement confirming the two new board seats.
“We are thrilled to have Rick and David bring their considerable talents and expertise to The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation,” said Holly. “I’m looking forward to working closely with both to advance our goal of inspiring teachers and students through Buddy’s music, compassion and legacy.”
The mission of the Foundation is to honor Buddy Holly’s ground-breaking music as well as to support his dream to extend musical education – including songwriting, production, arranging, orchestration, and performance – to future generations regardless of income, ethnicity or learning levels. The Foundation raises funds to encourage young people to learn how music can change their lives, while enabling schools to provide educational materials, and at the same time advocating for the inclusion of musical study in teaching.
Foundation ambassadors who have participated in TBHEF programs include Bob Dylan, Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian May, Don and Phil Everly, Dion, Dave Stewart, Graham Nash, Elvis Costello and many others. It partners with Squeeze co-founders Chris Difford and Glenn Tillbrook to host twice-annual songwriting retreats in the U.S. and U.K. for young songwriters and inner-city youth, and hosts an annual singer/songwriter showcase during the SXSW Music Festival in Austin.
Mr. French is the founder, Chairman and CEO of Raleigh, N.C.-based integrated marketing firm French/West/Vaughan. He is a national trustee of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame + Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, and is the newly appointed chairman of the Advisory Committee of Teen Cancer America, the L.A.-based national non-profit founded by rock icons Mr. Daltrey and Mr. Townsend of The Who. His sports and entertainment endeavors include co-ownership of the Daytona Tortugas professional baseball franchise, the Advanced A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds; and his role as executive producer/producer on feature films, including The True Don Quixote starring Tim Blake Nelson and Not Without Hope, based on the best-selling novel by Nick Schuyler.
“To be selected to join The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation board is an honor as well as an important opportunity to help further a very worthwhile cause in his memory,” said Mr. French. “Buddy has inspired an entire generation of artists to express themselves through music, and I’m very proud to contribute to the efforts of the Foundation to keep his legacy alive for generations to come.”
Mr. Hirshland is currently Executive Vice President, Music Publishing Catalogs for BMG. He is the former president of Bug Music, which was the largest independent publishing administration company in the U.S. before merging with BMG in 2011. Mr. Hirshland’s clients have included the estates of Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash, Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Woody Guthrie and Jim Croce, legendary artists such as Iggy Pop, the Guess Who and Los Lobos, and contemporary alt-rock stars such as Ryan Adams, Kings of Leon, Ben Folds and Wilco.
“As a lifelong fan of Buddy Holly, I consider it the highlight of my career to be able to represent his groundbreaking song catalog in the U.S.,” said Mr. Hirshland. “An added thrill is being able to work on the many worthy goals set forth by Maria Elena and implemented by the Foundation.”
Also serving on the board with Mr. French, Mr. Hirshland and Maria Elena Holly is noted philanthropist Peter Bradley, Sr., board chairman and co-founder of the Foundation; his son, North Yorkshire-based business and music executive Peter Bradley, Jr.; Laurent Hubert, president/chief revenue officer, Kobalt Music Group; and Austin, Texas and Washington, D.C.-based entertainment attorney Stephen Easley, who serves as general counsel to the Foundation.
About the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation
The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation founded by Peter Bradley, Sr., and Maria Elena Holly to honor the music, life, legacy and dreams of Maria Elena’s late husband, Buddy Holly. The mission of the Foundation is to honor Buddy Holly’s tremendous legacy and to fulfill Buddy’s and Maria Elena’s dream of extending musical education, including songwriting, production, arranging, orchestration, and performance education to new generations regardless of creed, ethnicity or income level. In this way, the Foundation wants to empower a new generation to follow in Buddy’s footsteps and remind them of his heritage. For further detailed information on the Foundation please visit: www.tbhef.org