The WTM Band, The Dismembered Tennesseans and several of the young musicians who recorded songs for a CD called "Let Beauty Awaken" will perform at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre tonight, Nov. 21, as a fundraiser for arts programs in local public schools.
The event is part of a broader program conceived and administered by students at McCallie and Baylor schools. It was created by Thomas West, who came up with the idea after visiting Dalewood Middle School two years ago. While there, he was disheartened to discover the lack of art equipment and resources at the school. When he learned that Dalewood was the norm when it came to arts funding across the county, he set out to make a difference.
West enlisted the help of fellow McCallie senior Ralston Hartness and Baylor seniors McKenna Quatro and Megan Daniel. Since then, the students have been working on the long-term plans for the program and also on the CD, which features 17 area young people performing everything from classical to acoustic music.
West is studying voice at McCallie, and Hartness is a member of the McCallie Guitar Quartet.
The four young performers all auditioned to be included on the CD.
The evening marks the end of the first phase of the endeavor, West says, and the beginning of the second. He says the initiative will get a new name, which will be announced tonight. He and his four colleagues will be going away to college next year, so the plan has always been to create a board of young people who will continue with the work.
"We will be helping to grow and initiate the next phase and will be doing that all spring and summer, but the idea is to hand it over to the board," West says. "Because this is so near and dear to me, I will continue to be a part of it."
Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6354.
* What: Let Beauty Awaken, a benefit concert to raise funds and awareness for underfunded arts programs in Hamilton County schools.
* When: 7 p.m. today, Nov. 21.
* Where: Chattanooga Theatre Centre, 400 River St.
* Admission: $30, CDs are $15.
* Website: www.letbeautyawaken.com.
* Chandler Peppers (vocalist)
* Patrick Rice (piano)
* WTM Band
* Abby and Jacob Martin (piano duet)
* Jonathan Martinez (violin)
* Ishmael Sanford (fiddle duet with Fletcher Bright)
* The Dismembered Tennesseans