The enthusiasm continues to build for the first ever Kindness Concert set for Tuesday, April 17, in Weston’s Thyme Bistro restaurant.
The concert will feature members of the Lewis County High School Jazz Ensemble sharing a bandstand with top professional jazz artists from throughout the region.
The evening’s performances were organized by an informal coalition of community members, educators, city officials, and nonprofit groups.
The theme is centered on offering positive alternatives to the all-too-frequent negativity and bullying found on popular social media.
“It’s an uncomplicated message that kindness and courtesy are community values,” said Weston Mayor Julia Spelsberg. “People have been very supportive of the idea. We look forward to seeing lots of familiar faces as well as making some new friends.”
The mayor added that the musicians are donating their time and talent. Marketing and promotional services were also donated.
“Everyone agreed to participate as soon as they were asked,” said Spelsberg. “We’re very grateful and look forward to a wonderful evening.”
In addition to the high school student musicians, the show will feature Seth Maynard and Rachael Franks, a guitar/vocal duo, and Adam Loudin, Robert L. Bland Middle School music teacher, performing with The Cool Cats, the “house band” for the West Virginia Jazz
The Cool Cats include Maynard on vocals and guitar, Rich Norwood on alto sax, Kyle Andrews on drums and Chris McGraw on bass.
Norwood is a retired teacher and musician. Andrews is a director of the jazz program at West Virginia Wesleyan, and McGraw is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College.
The LCHS members scheduled to participate are: Cheyenne Henline (Alto I)), Ian Williams (Alto II), Eva Atha (Tenor I), Kia Villers (Tenor II), Tori Vankirk (Bari), Zachary Turner (Trumpet I), Kristen Fisher (Trumpet II), Justin White (Trumpet III), Skyler Jones (Trombone I), Ryan Overton (Trombone II), Kaite Stous (Trombone III), Mason Atha (Double Bass), Madison Bolyard (Piano), Anthon Kayser and Bryce McCourt (Percussion).
“We are very glad Thyme Bistro agreed to host this event,” said Bob Workman of the West Virginia Jazz Society, one of the event organizers.
“Their customer base is at least six or seven counties, which is in sync with our programming goals. The Kindness Concert will present a very positive image of Weston to the entire region.”
“I would see no reason why not,” said Workman. “That is certainly something the (West Virginia) Jazz Society would support.”
There is no cover charge for the music which is scheduled from 6-9 p.m.
Dinner reservations for available seating can be made by phoning Thyme Bistro at 304-269-7177. The restaurant will offer their regular menu complemented by some “jazz night” specials.
Contributions to the Lewis County Family Resource Network’s student nutrition services will be accepted throughout the evening.
West Virginia Jazz Society programming in Lewis County is supported through the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation and private donations. For information, visit WVJazzSociet.com.