Groups band together for cause

Published 8:01 pm Friday, January 29, 2010

Eleven local musicians and bands performed at the Elm Street Gym Friday for an impromptu music festival.

However the event was no “battle of the bands,” but rather a “banding of brothers,” a culmination of young artists coming together with a common goal to support those less fortunate.

“The idea is to show that musicians in Troy are one big family,” said event organizer Josh Johnson. “They’ve come together to help people.”

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Johnson, a music industry major at Troy University, lined up next to Troy University Trojan Right Guard Micah Grimes and others in an effort to protect victims of the Haiti earthquakes.

Only two weeks ago, the two came up with the idea for the relief effort, which will donate all proceeds to Doctors Without Borders, an international medical humanitarian organization created by doctors and journalists.

After the idea was thought up, Johnson, also a musician and his colleague Grimes got into a quick rhythm.

“I’ve mostly been handling logistics and organizing volunteers,” Grimes said. “Josh (Johnson) has been focusing on the bands and the look of it. It’s really been a team effort.”

The concert was originally scheduled to take place at Tailgate Terrace, but it was moved to the indoor venue due to the potential for inclement weather.

“The university has been very helpful in allowing us to have a smooth running event,” Johnson said.

He estimated that up to 80 volunteers also helped with the execution.

“People clearing their schedules to come out here says a lot about them,” Johnson said.

Premier Entertainment Group donated their time and skills, as well.

The production company provided a stage complete with large projection screens and a sound system that crisply amplified songs like Corey Reznar’s rendition of The Counting Crows’ Mr. Jones.

Other performers included Ryan Alan, who will be releasing his first album soon, The Nasty Nate Experience, a band comprised of Trojan football players, The Park Band and The J. Harvey Johnson Band featuring event organizer Johnson.

“It was exciting to see how everyone came together in a short amount of time,” Johnson said.

The Park Band’s Brantley Park, was pleased to be one of the headliners on the bill.

“We’re here for a great cause, to help out people in need,” Park said.

Grimes said witnessing the tragedy in Haiti, coupled with his own experiences provided him with inspiration.

“I watched the news the day it happened, and it just hits you. I’ve been through that

type of situation with hurricanes living in central Florida,” the big lineman said while his brother Justin Grimes belted the chorus of Hotel California.

“We really appreciate the support from the university and the community and Premier (Entertainment Group),” he said.

For music lovers with a heart of gold but not necessarily a pocket full, the Haiti relief concert offered a few different ways to help.

In addition to requesting a $5 donation at the door, funds were raised through CD sales and awareness ribbons.

For an extra $5, people who attended the concert had the opportunity to take home a six-track CD featuring all original titles from artists performing at the concert.

The Association for Education International and the Student Council For Exceptional Children were represented at the event as well.

“A lot of us members got together and made these ribbons,” said Gina Ledbetter displaying the red, blue and green ribbons, which represent the national colors of Haiti.

The ribbons sold for $1 or more and also went to benefit Doctors Without Borders.

Click here for pictures from the concert.