Putting The Celebration Into Education…

Destiny Davis of Georgetown, South Carolina will be a headliner at the “Bohemian Supper Club Orchestra” concert Saturday night at the Trueblood Performing Arts Center on the campus of Salem Middle School. The concert is sponsored by the Salem Education Foundation and all proceeds benefit scholarship funds for local students. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the show begins at 7:15 p.m.. All seats are $10 and can be purchased at the door or online at EventBrite.com (search “Bohemian”).

Local Educators Lead The Way In April 13 Concert

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and it certainly takes one to nurture their education. That’s why area residents will see a diverse line-up of teachers involved in the “Celebrate, Educate!” concert Saturday, April 13 at Trueblood Performing Arts Center in Salem.

Much like the cicadas that pop up on schedule every few years, the “BSC Orchestra” comes around just once a year to prepare and present the popular benefit show.
The concert features several talented singers backed by the “Bohemian Supper Club Orchestra”. All proceeds go to college scholarship funds administered by the Salem Education Foundation.

The Foundation’s “Dollars for Scholars” program was established in October 1991 to support local students by providing financial assistance after high school. Thirty years later, the foundation has awarded nearly $2.5 million in scholarships to over 1500 Salem High School seniors.

It should come as no surprise then that thirteen local educators are part of the 30-member ensemble or in support roles. In fact, most of these same performers were the beneficiaries of scholarships administered by the Salem Education Foundation.

The event is the eighteenth in a series that dates back some fifteen years, and retired SHS Science teacher Greg McCurdy has been involved in most all of them.
What started as an annual school event has turned into a unique community effort, and McCurdy notes that it was “always about showcasing the musical talent of students regardless of their academic abilities. This motivated many students to want to succeed in school.”

“The scholarship aspect of what we do now allows us to back that motivation with dollars for students to pursue their dreams.”
McCurdy is joined by other seasoned citizens Dan Mullins and Bill Spencer-Pierce, both recent SCS retirees. Mullins is Technical Director, and Spencer-Pierce serves as Musical Director.
SHS English teacher and Guitar Club sponsor Matt Adkins enjoys his time with the group, noting that it’s “an opportunity to play with others that have the same love for music that I do…and allows the community to enjoy a night off from the ‘busyness’ of life.”

A number of other teachers are traveling a bit to help out. SHS grad and professional sax player Sam Bortka says, “I am one of those teachers. I teach at the Renaissance School in New York City. The event enables students to have both the opportunity and the equality to explore the world beyond the borders of Washington County.”
The horn section is rounded out by Paoli band directors Bill Laughlin and Chris Karkovsky. Karkovsky, who has assumed head director responsibilities at Paoli, observed Laughlin perform at the 2022 show and knew right away he wanted on board.

“As teachers and lifelong supporters of learning, we are all dedicated to serving students and helping them accomplish their goals and dreams, and this is a show with a diversity of musical genres, styles, sounds, and feelings…something most people will enjoy”, he remarked.

Featured singers at this year’s event include headliners Abby Corbin, Bri Adams, Destiny Davis, Kameron Gumaelius, Zec Morris, Nathan Smith, Katie Hobbs, and Devan Grigsby, all Salem Choir alumni. Several more Choir alums are part of the back-up band and stage crew.

“We made sure and allocated a portion of our receipts over the years to support local scholarships, the local food bank, and other causes”, says Spencer-Pierce. “It’s rewarding to see these graduates continue that tradition of giving back to the community.”

Those supporting the effort include local patron sponsors John Jones Auto Group, Kearschner Family Dentistry, Drs. John and Lynn Reed, Dr. Tricia Wheeler of Salem Family Dentistry, Knapp Miller Brown; and the Washington County Community Foundation.

Jennifer Martin, Director of Guidance at SHS, coordinates the event on behalf of the Salem Education Foundation and is assisted by Samantha Richardson, who chairs the Salem Choir Alumni.

“Celebrate, Educate!” runs for one show, one night only Saturday, April 13 at the Trueblood Performing Arts Center on the campus of Salem Middle School. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the show begins at 7:15 p.m.
All seats are $10, and patrons can buy tickets now at Mid-Southern Savings Bank, Loy & Fordyce Insurance, Salem Apothecary, and Salem High School. Online tickets are available at EventBrite.com (search for “bohemian”).

Any remaining tickets will be available at the door.



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