In response to 12/14, a community of professional musicians from Newtown and surrounding areas have been rehearsing for a pair of special memorial and fundraising concerts to be performed at Edmond Town Hall Theatre on Sunday, March 3.
Two performances are planned, at 2 and 4 pm. Tickets are $15.
Upstate New York musician James Keneally is organizing the event, which will raise funds for the My Sandy Hook Family Fund.
"I liked their mission statement," Mr Keneally said in response to why he chose that fund for Sunday's efforts. "It looks like their fund is going to do the most for the families."
The fund was established within days of 12/14 by Newtown residents, with a goal to raise $2.6 million. In addition to the goal of raising $100,000 for each affected family, the fund has many volunteers who are helping the families of the victims with daily tasks that range from cooking meals and running errands to providing emotional support. The fund recently reached its financial half-way mark.
Like those who are volunteering their time to help fellow residents heal, everyone called on by Mr Keneally for Sunday's concert is donating their time.
The lineup will include performers proficient in jazz, rock, folk, rhythm & blues, country and Celtic music. Performers will include local bands Tired On Sunday, Old School and The Bookends, as well as musicians coming in from across the region such as the lower Fairfield County band Mars; jazz musician Kip Sophos; New York-based guitarist, singer, songwriter, composer and producer Peter Calo; and singer-songwriters Rosie Burgos, Stephanie Laura Harrison, Stevan Swan, and Artie Tobia.
Mr Keneally has also arranged for the horn duo of Cindy Bradley and Dan Cipriano and new age pianist Louis Landon to perform, and will have a house band featuring Lou Bellofatto, Mark Bridgman, Vinny Conigliaro, Paul Connors, Rich Giorgianni, and Baron Raymonde.
Mr Keneally, who also expects to perform with the house band Sunday afternoon, is a friend of Mark and Jacqueline Barden. The Bardens' son Daniel was one of the children killed on 12/14.
"Almost everyone in this lineup, in fact, has been a colleague of Mark's at one point or another," Mr Keneally said last week. "Everyone has been on board to do this, to heal, to help, to do what we can, from day one."
The performances will include "a lot of things everyone will be familiar with," Mr Keneally said. The musicians have purposely been choosing material that is well known.
Wells Fargo Bank is currently the holder of the My Sandy Hook Family Fund account. One hundred percent of the net proceeds of donations to the fund at the bank will be donated to the victims' families. Online donations, done with credit cards, are being handled by EverRibbon, which reportedly charges four percent plus 30 cents on top of each online donation.
Mr Keneally was pleased, he said, to learn that the Sandy Hook Family Fund was able to receive much of its administration help pro bono. Legal services for the fund, for instance, have been donated by Pullman & Comley, LLC, according to a note on the fund's website. Accounting help has also been donated to the fund, as has work being done by a team of clinical social workers.
To reserve tickets for either of the Sunday, March 3 performances, call Mr Keneally at 518-537-3849. Tickets will also be available at the door of Edmond Town Hall, 45 Main Street. Additional information is also available from Mr Keneally atJJKeneally@gmail.com.