The mission of the Hickory Music Factory (HMF) is to build futures through music by teaching, performance, and community outreach.
The Hickory Music Factory is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. HMF hosts dozens of events and programs in the Catawba community and serves over 20,000 people each year. The majority of these programs are free and open to the public and reach out to all ages, from children to seniors.
The Hickory Music Factory or (HMF) was founded 2012 by Tony Eltora and Rick Cline. Their vision was to provide Their students and the community with more meaningful opportunities to learn, create and experience music in-addition to fostering an environment of creativity and originality. They wanted to place a particular emphasis on youth, and have programs designed to empower them through a variety of musical avenues. In starting the Hickory Music Factory, Tony and Rick found that there was a void not being met for students and people in the community in regard to music and wanted to focus on three areas that they though they could have an impact on.
Tony and Rick noticed that most places that taught lessons didn’t have adequate teaching space and therefor making it harder for students to learn. They wanted to have a place where students would be inspired to want to learn and hang out and meet others involved in music. They also noticed music programs were being cut in schools in the area and wanted to help continue these programs by starting a middle and high school community big band and jazz combo.
In addition to 8 teaching rooms at the Hickory Music Factory facility, there is a music library where students can check out music books, CD’s and records, a performance room, a recording studio, and a jam room set up with drums and amps for students practice with their bands.
HMF also provides private lessons, classes and camps for ages 5 years old and up. They offers lessons for guitar, piano, drums, bass, violin, flute, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, voice and more…
The organization isn’t classically based in its approach to musical education. Rather, the Hickory Music Factory takes a well-rounded, inter-disciplinary approach and strives to address each child on an individual basis. Unfortunately, many music programs have rigid guidelines that don’t allow for all children to succeed. Therefore, we seek to address the system and nature of teaching music that inhibits growth and success. They don’t offer a strict curriculum but a malleable model meant to encourage all. Catering to each student’s unique passion, they offer individual lessons in several genres. Every person is different and learns differently and, in turn, music serves a different purpose in every life. The Hickory Music Factory believes in celebrating students and their differences and helping them find their individuality in music.
The 2nd area Tony and Rick wanted to focus on was performance. They believe that if you don’t have a goal, then you’re not living up to your potential. Imagine being on a soccer team and going to practice every day, but never having a game. There would be no reason to put forth all your effort to make the starting line up. It would be pointless. For musicians, the gig is the game and performance opportunities are key to helping a person develop as a musician.
HMF provides their students and people in the community with a number of performances throughout the year such as the Student Rock Concert, Rock Camp, Open Mic Nights, Swingin Under the Stars and the Hickory Music Factory Stage at Oktoberfest. HMF also brings national and regional artists to our area for clinics and concerts.
The 3rd and final area that Tony and Rick wanted to focus on was community outreach. They felt that every person should have the opportunity to learn and play music regardless of finances or physical disabilities.
HMF takes music programs to community centers, schools and churches in the area and have recently partnered with the City of Hickory and the Hickory Parks and Recreation Department to help make music more accessible to people in the community. HMF also provides scholarships and work study programs for students in the community who want to further their musical education and need financial assistance.
Ultimately, the Hickory Music Factory wants to provide a musical experience for the individual and community that is void of all barriers, whether from learning differences, financial struggle, or physical ability.