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Towson High student making waves with music festival

From left, Henry Weetenkamp, Josh Weber and Reed Spaulding prepare to perform a socially distant front-yard concert April 25 in West Towson.
From left, Henry Weetenkamp, Josh Weber and Reed Spaulding prepare to perform a socially distant front-yard concert April 25 in West Towson. (Kris Spaulding)

West Towson resident Reed Spaulding is finishing up his freshman year at Towson High School. Like many students, his spring plans have been majorly disrupted.

But COVID-19 didn’t just cancel exams and dances. It shut down a full-scale outdoor music festival for charity that Reed has been working on for nearly a year. He’s not letting COVID-19 win this one, however.

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April 25 was slated to be the date of the first annual Tributary Music Festival, an all-day show of professional and student bands that would help raise funds for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

The bay has been special to Reed his whole life, fueled by cherished memories of fishing and boating with his grandfather at Wilton Creek in Virginia. Keeping the bay clean and healthy has led Reed to participate in stream cleanups, but as he has gotten older, he’s felt a need to do something more.

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The Tributary Music Festival is entirely Reed’s creation, a result of combining his musical talents and advocacy for the environment.

Since last summer, Reed has spent countless hours finding a venue, recruiting bands, lining up food trucks, raising donations, designing a web presence, coordinating merchandise, and more. “To get the festival going, I raised over $4,000 from individuals and local business sponsors to cover festival expenses, and I’m proud that we have now raised over $500 to directly support the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, so far,” Reed said.

His band, Ironically Iconic, is also a driving force behind the festival. Ironically Iconic features Reed on drums, Josh Weber (Loch Raven High) on guitar, Vincent Guida (Towson High) on keyboard and vocals and Henry Weetenkamp (Loyola Blakefield) on bass and vocals.

“Reed, Henry, Josh, and Vincent have been students of mine since 2016,” said Drew Wright, of Lutherville Rock School.

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“I’ve watched Ironically Iconic form and grow beyond all expectations. I’m extremely proud of all of them, especially Reed for organizing the Tributary Festival. Their support for Maryland’s greatest natural resource is truly admirable and should inspire all of us to follow in their footsteps."

Jessica Rubino, of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, appreciates the boys’ efforts tremendously. “The funding and awareness they’ve raised is invaluable," she said. "We are deeply honored to be the organization they trusted to help make an impact saving the bay.”

For The Tributary Music Festival, Reed expected to draw 300 to 500 attendees to the waterfront at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. Because of COVID-19, the event could not be held as scheduled. Undeterred, Ironically Iconic marked the date with a “socially distant front-yard concert” on the lawn of the Spauldings’ West Towson home.

The performance had more than 100 viewers on an Instagram live stream, as well as about 40-50 neighbors and friends watching from the street, sidewalk and other yards, all while maintaining appropriate social distancing. The music was rockin’, spirits were high, and some money was raised for the bay.

“Reed and his bandmates made lemonade out of lemons by throwing a front-yard concert,” said Tom Melito, Reed’s uncle. “These young men not only have a talent for music, but the fact that they are striving to make the world a better place says a lot about their characters.”

The new plan is to hold the festival in the fall. Learn more about The Tributary Music Festival and how it aims to help support the Chesapeake Bay at tributaryfestival.org.

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