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In the past 17 years, Vocal Trash has really hit home their message of recycling. This musical group started out performing a capella and now plays industrial instruments made from items like toolboxes and gas cans. They’ve expanded over the years, adding new members and more instruments and even mixing in break dancing, but their mission remains constant—educating audiences about sustainability.
Steve Linder calls his and partner Kelsey Ray’s work a team effort. Each bringing in different elements to their performances. Kelsey who has incorporated Broadway-style staging and choreography performance into their gigs also authored Think Before You Throw It Away, a children’s book released in 2014, now in its third printing. The book is a spin-off from their THINK program, a children education program that has taken them to elementary schools all over their home state of Texas and beyond.
“The group changed us. We saw there were so many things being done [to help the Earth] and we needed to be on board with this,” said Steve. “We got a great tool. We’re making audiences so happy and using this opportunity for a greater good.”
Vocal Trash also has an album coming out in August with all original songs written by Steve and Kelsey. Musical creativity for this dynamic group is important but ultimately, it’s about children. With such a broad range of songs, Vocal Trash has become popular for being a family-friendly show. Songs are a mix of oldies and not-so-oldies and it always comes back to recycling and mindful consumption. Steve says kids walk away with the message and empowered to make the small but significant difference in their homes and schools.
“We have one foot in the green industry and one foot in performance industry,” says Steve. “But we feel very strongly that it’s not about being a money maker, it’s a way to give back.”