For our 2013 Austin concert, Ben & I partnered with Concordia University and St. David’s Episcopal Church. Our incredible team included Ben & Kim (guitars), Sarasota Director Martha Lopez (soprano), Dr. Karla Hamelin (cello), Dr. Amy Harris (violin), Blythe Cates (soprano), and Robert Summers as our Student & Sponsorship Coordinator. We welcome Lt. Colonel (Ret.) Lynn Smith-Henry as an advisor, the St. David’s Children’s Choir, and our special guest performer Kirby Kelley, the 2009-10 “King of the Blues”. Kirby performed as a soloist and with a group of Austin veterans and a group of supporters.
This guitar orchestra of supporters and veterans was sponsored by St. David’s church, and rehearsed a program of traditional American music there for 8 weeks before the April concert. For the whole story on the classes, please visit St. David’s website and read Kim’s story: http://www.stdave.org/2013/11/ben-i-play-for-peace-the-veterans-guitar-project/
2013 Supporter Concerts
Friends of Ben & Kim chose to dedicate their concerts in support of our cause for the Wounded Warrior Project. The director of the 2011 & 2012 Sarasota concerts, Martha Lopez-Leschke, supported us with the spring edition of her webcast “Pajama Concert Series”. This beautiful voice and piano concert attracted an international audience and raised additional funds for WWP. Oklahoma City guitarist and teacher Matt Denman dedicated his farewell high school program concert to our work in May. We were honored that he shared our story with so many young people.
Ben Werdegar, guitar; Kim Perlak, guitar; Benjamin Verdery, guitar; Katie LaRue, flute; Patricia Burnham, piano; Karla Hamelin, cello; Blythe Cates, voice; Josh Davies, trumpet