A show of support

Music Fest for Firefighters will benefit Shepherdstown Volunteer Fire Department

Music Fest for Firefighters will benefit Shepherdstown Volunteer Fire Department

October 31, 2002|by KEVIN CLAPP

In assembling talent for the second Music Fest for Firefighters, Steve Warner tried to toss together a little bit of this, a little bit of that and a whole lot of fun.

Sure, the six acts on the bill for Saturday's 6:30 p.m. show at Shepherdstown, W.Va., Fire Hall are acoustic. But under that umbrella there are the unique sounds of Shepherdstown singer-songwriter Scooter Scudieri; blues by Ben Andrews; and traditional and Celtic selections by O'Hurley's General Store String Band.

In all, a musical sampler easy on the ears and - hopefully - attractive to a wide audience.

That's Warner's hope. And a successful show spells enthusiastic support for the Shepherds-town Volunteer Fire Department.

Searching for a venue to host a concert last year, Warner and Jefferson Security Bank president and CEO Meryl Kaiser settled on the Shepherdstown Fire Hall for its size.


The bank has been a longtime supporter of the fire department and, in the wake of Sept. 11, Warner says it made sense to give back to a unit that selflessly works to protect the Shepherdstown community.

"There are very few fund-raising events to support them that they don't have to do the work on," Kaiser says.

Last year, 80 to 100 people came out to listen to music, raising $1,500 for the fire department. For the encore, Warner has recruited a new set of local or regional musicians who will play 35-minute sets Saturday night.

"Even if you come by for one act it's well worth it, and it's a great cause," Warner says. "It's really a good opportunity to see a wide variety of excellent talent."

Scudieri would have taken part last year if he hadn't been on the road. Touring this fall with Jewel, the show gives him a chance to reconnect with a local audience.

But even though he hasn't played a set in the area for six months and he has a slew of new tunes to perform, his primary goal is to help out the fire department.

"Shepherdstown and the fire department. It's pretty cut and dried for me," Scudieri says. "I thought this is a way I could do something to help these guys out.

"It's really a no-brainer. Here you have volunteers who are going to help you out when you're in trouble. I think it's beautiful."

Kaiser, meanwhile, enjoys having a chance to introduce more people to the rich pools of talent in Shepherdstown's back yard.

"Shepherds-town has a broad base of various artists, not just in the music field but writers, painters as well as excellent musicians, and they don't often have a chance for the public to enjoy them." Kaiser says. "This is an opportunity for local folks to see some local talent they might otherwise not see."

Pleased with last year's results, Warner's hope is to eclipse those marks Saturday, building momentum to establish the Music Fest as an annual must-see event.

That it supports the community while also promoting the local music scene makes the concert that much sweeter.

"I love listening to good music and all of these performers are professionals in their own right," Warner says. "They're all good performers and they'll all put on a good show."

If you go:

Music Fest for Firefighters, a benefit concert for the Shepherdstown (W.Va.) Volunteer Fire Department featuring Scooter Scudieri, Ben Andrews, Rachel Cross, O'Hurley's General Store String Band, Ken Smith and Singing the Bones

Doors open at 6 p.m.; music begins at 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 2

Shepherdstown Fire Hall

W.Va. 45

Shepherdstown, W.Va.

A $12 donation is requested at the door.

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