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Acoustical Jam for Save the Children Benefit: Rotage
Saturday, 2/9 • 9:30 p.m.
Soapbox, 255 N. Front St.
$5 min. donation

BIKING BROTHERS: Angelo and Roberto Giambra will pedal 730 miles with their instruments to raise money for Save the Children. Courtesy photo

BIKING BROTHERS: Angelo and Roberto Giambra will pedal 730 miles with their instruments to raise money for Save the Children. Courtesy photo

After the tragic outcome of the Sandy Hook shootings, local band Rotage decided it was time to take action and make a difference. Comprising two brothers, Angelo and Roberto Giambra, Rotage wanted to find a way to use their music to bring people together for a shared purpose and to raise awareness.

They devised a plan that would have them bicycling with their instruments 730 miles from Wilmington to New York City, performing in various cities along the way to raise awareness and donations for Save the Children, the leading independent organization that intends to create change in the lives of children in need around the world. Rotage will debut their fundraiser campaign—aptly titled Pedaling Music—with the Acoustical Jam for Save the Children at Soapbox on Saturday, February 9th, alongside local musicians Susan Savia and Andrew Beeson. Admission is a minimum of $5, and 100 percent of the donations will go to Save the Children.
“The saying ‘peace through music’ isn’t cliché—it’s a reality—and it is a statement about the vision of the most important role of music,” Savia says. “Music is the great unifier [and] Save the Children is an organization with integrity. I appreciate their accountability and their work without political agenda or religious orientation.”

Hailing from Torino, Italy, the brothers use traditionally classical instruments and create a unique blend of pop and rock with both English and Italian lyrics.

encore spoke to Rotage about their upcoming journey, their mission, and why they chose to relocate from Italy to Wilmington.

encore (e): How did the idea behind Pedaling Music originate?
Angelo Giambra (AG): The first idea was just to play music for the charity. As musicians, this seemed totally logical, of course. As the idea began to grow and evolve it seemed too easy to just take off on a car trip and perform—after all, that’s what musicians do on a normal basis. We felt that we needed to do something unusual and challenging for ourselves while in the process of bringing more awareness to Save the Children.

e: Tell me more about the upcoming journey.
Roberto Giambra (RG): We will be hauling our instruments—digital piano, guitar, violin, and a compact PA system—with a homemade trailer attached to our bicycle. We will have no back-up vehicle, and we’ll be doing around 40 miles daily. We are planning to play at a least 15 different cities from Wilmington to New York, NY, starting by the end of June and arriving in New York by mid-August. We’ll also bring along our tent and sleeping bags, but are hoping to get some hotel rooms donated along the way. At some point a shower will be in order at the very least!
There’s a lot to do with lining up gigs, finding help crossing large bridges, finding lodging establishments, planning and determining how to handle meals and rest stops—you just don’t take off on a 730-mile bicycle journey without a lot of forethought.

e: Has biking always been a big part of your life?
RG: When we were kids back in Italy we used to ride all the time, but not so much as adults. During Christmas, while we were talking and joking about our youth, we were remembering playing soccer and riding bicycles and times we got hurt and drove our parents crazy. We started thinking about all the children that will never have a chance to have those moments and felt that now that we are men, it’s time to stand up and do something. My father has always said ‘stop talking about all the things you can’t do, and go do what you can.’ This is something we can do and there’s no reason not to.

e: When you were first attracted to Save the Children?
AG: We knew we wanted to do something for children so we began researching different charities. We felt that Save the Children really helps kids from basic needs to education and beyond. Save the Children was immediately on the scene following Hurricane Sandy and the Sandy Hook tragedy. When most people think about Save the Children, they think immediately of third-world countries, and while they certainly do a lot there, they also do a tremendous amount of work right here at home in the United States. Save the Children is also one of the top-rated charities with regard to how much of their donations actually reach those in need. Both of those things were top priority points for us. We were thrilled when their special events coordinator, Jason Chmura, approved our fund-raiser, and we’re proud to be associated with them.

e: How did you end up in Wilmington from Italy?
RG: In 1996 we moved from Italy to upstate New York, with our family, where we had relatives. After visiting them a few times from Italy we fell in love with the U.S. and made the decision to move. About 10 years ago we migrated to Wilmington, for the ocean and, of course, the beautiful weather. From the historic aspect of downtown to the beauty of the local beaches, what’s not to like? It’s a great place to be!

e: What are some other ways people can help contribute?
AG: We still need sponsors and would ask that anyone who may be interested will contact us through our website. We would like to let everyone know that even if you can’t make it to one of our events you can still help by making donations online at our website. No amount is too small and everything is very much appreciated by Save the Children and us. We’re happy to play for anyone, anywhere on behalf of this charity, just contact us!

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Francis mcDougal (Franco)

    June 11, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    I was pleasantly surprised to meet you brothers at Macedonia Church this morning. I contacted the local newspaper after passing you on the way to Williamston. I hope they were able to interview you and provide some additional publicity for your efforts.
    Both of you brothers are an inspiration to all of us, most of the time we hear about others who come to America and take what they can get and then “spit in our eye” (Boston) you personify what Italian immigrants have done for centuries upon arriving in America, establish themselves then help others.
    May God bless your efforts.

    Fran McDougal

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