The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Local Education

April 23, 2014

Spotlight on the kids

Concert planned for high school special education

ANDERSON — When pianist Nathan Cook started volunteering for the special education program at Anderson High School, he started mulling over ideas how he could do more to help.

Then it hit him: he should help through music.

Now, various acts will take the stage at the Anderson High School Special Education Benefit Concert this week. The event kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday at the Paramount Theatre.

Cook, who is performing the piano and organizing the event, said he started volunteering with the kids a few months ago. It wasn’t enough, and he wanted to find another way to help the program.

“Yes, I’m a performer,” he said, “but the purpose is to put the spotlight on the kids.”

The concert will consist of 10 acts, including pianist Adam Leon, singer Pattye Patryce, singer Tim Wilbur and organ player George Smith. Carl Erskine, Dan Daugherty and Jeff Hardin also are performing.

Cook said some of the special education students are also performing, including William Turner and the Turnettes, and a comedy act by Dylan Smith.

Cook said he wants to raise at least $1,000 for the special education program. The money would help with class trips and possibly an iPad for higher functioning students.

The trips could help some students broaden their horizons and be exposed to cultural experiences they may not otherwise get, Cook said.

It will also give viewers the opportunity to be exposed to something new.

Cook said people should attempt to expand their horizons, and the benefit concert is a great way to do that.

It’s easy for people to get locked into a pattern of going to work and coming home to worry about family and everyday life, Cook said.

“Not everybody is exactly like us,” he said. “(The concert) goes toward community awareness, cultural awareness, embracing diversity and a better understanding of what other people go through.”

Admission to the benefit concert is free, although monetary donations will be accepted at intermission.

For more information about the performers, visit www.maestromusic.biz.

Like Kelly Dickey on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @KellyD_THB, or call 640-4805.

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