Music Will and Rex Foundation Convene Diverse Array of Musicians and Students to Record “Touch of Grey” in Support of School Music Programs Facing Budget Cuts Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic

By Published On: September 9, 2020

David Hidalgo (Los Lobos), Trombone Shorty, Lindsay Ell, Billy Strings, Don Was, and other acclaimed recording artists join public school students in delivering a musical message that we all need right now: “We Will Get By”

September 9, 2020 — “We will get by. We will survive.” The lyrics to the Grateful Dead’s 1987 single, Touch of Grey ring true today for people around the world. The Rex Foundation teamed up with national nonprofit Music Will to produce a music video of the classic tune featuring public school students and a variety of notable musicians with the goal of raising funds to support music education programs in danger of being eliminated at an alarming rate as students and teachers head back to school amidst a global pandemic that has infected over 5.6 million Americans.

“Music is a powerful healing force – a lesson taught to us over and over again by the Grateful Dead, particularly in Touch Of Grey,” says Cameron Sears, Executive Director of Rex Foundation. “We are proud to once again support Music Will, who continues to lead the charge in helping build inclusive music programs in schools across the country.”

The funds raised from online donations will be split between the two organizations to support music teachers by providing professional development and other resources to help teachers learn to teach music virtually while many schools remain physically closed. Music Will has pioneered innovative, popular music education techniques in public schools across the country, serving over a million students in underserved communities since 2002.

“Rex Foundation was one of the first funders to support our work when I was a public school teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area just trying to get this free music program started for my students,” said David Wish, founder and CEO of Music Will, which has served over a million students since 2002. “This has been such a wonderful opportunity to work with them and a host of artists and students to promote a positive message through music at a time when kids need music education as much as ever.”

Rex Foundation has chosen to focus the majority of it’s 2020 grant giving efforts on all areas of the music industry – from professional musicians and crew members to music programs for kids. Since 1984 the Rex Foundation has granted $9 million to over 1,300 recipients including Music Will.

Contributing Artists

  • David Hidalgo (Los Lobos) – guitar, vocals
  • Trombone Shorty – trombone, trumpet
  • Steve Berlin (Los Lobos) – sax
  • Louie Perez (Los Lobos) – guitar
  • Lindsay Ell – guitar, vocals
  • Billy Strings – guitar, vocals
  • Don Was – bass
  • Jay Lane – drums, vocals
  • Jeff Chimenti – keys
  • Mark Rivers (Tedeschi Trucks Band) – vocals
  • Shira Elias (Turkuaz) – vocals
  • Making Movies (Enrique Chi, Juan Carlos Chaurand, Diego Chi, & Duncan Burnett) – vocals

About Music Will

Music Will is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that transforms lives by restoring, expanding, and innovating music education in our schools. Our network of thousands of K-12 teachers across 44 states lead a national movement that brings innovative and inclusive music education to students. Using genres including rock, pop, Latin, and rap, our program empowers teachers to build music programs as diverse as the kids they serve. Our students see themselves reflected in their classes, which strengthens their connection to their school, their peers, and their community. Music Will also donates necessary instruments, and curriculum, meeting a key need of many school music programs. The world of music expands through innovation, and we ensure that music education does as well. More than 550,000 kids currently participate in Music Will programs nationwide. Since 2002, the organization has reached more than 1,000,000 students with highly inclusive and culturally relevant music education. To learn more about Music Will, please contact Michelle Shen at [email protected]. Visit Music Will at

About Rex Foundation

The Rex Foundation aims to secure a healthy environment, promote individuality in the arts, provide support to critical and necessary social services, assist others less fortunate than ourselves, protect the rights of idigenous people and ensure their cultural survival, build a stronger community, and educate children and adults everywhere.