• 39°

Promoter aims to awaken the soul

Brett Nance was facing the same problems many parents are as his son Joseph, now 10, was getting interested in contemporary music.

It wasn’t the beat that troubled him. It was the message behind the words in the songs.

“As a parent I try to steer him away from a lot of the negative influences you find in today’s music, whether it’s language, you name it,” he said.

Nance heard about a concert earlier this year in New Boston by a Christian contemporary rock group called Seventh Day Slumber.

“It worked like a charm with my son,” he said. “He branched off into other Christian rock bands. It opened my eyes to the possibilities of music.”

Now Nance, a longtime Ironton resident who heads up the Jesse Stuart Foundation in Ashland, Ky., wants to share that experience with others.

He went to the band and asked if there was any way they could perform a concert in the Tri-State. They checked their schedule and saw they had a concert set in Zanesville in May. That meant they would be coming through the area so they agreed.

Next Nance looked around for a venue. He first thought an area auditorium that would hold about 250 would be all he needed. Then he started calling the group homes and foster care agencies in the Tri-State.

“They were all interested and I had 300 really quickly so we outgrew the auditorium,” he said. “Mended Reeds is bringing 30 kids.”

So he moved the venue to the Boyd County Middle School in Summit, Ky., hoping to attract as many young people as possible.

“It is going to be open to all kids. We’re promoting it in the high schools,” Nance said.

And to make sure it was affordable, he set the price at $3 a ticket. And there will be no cost to those coming from the group homes or foster care agencies.

“I didn’t want the price very high. I wanted it to be open to teen-agers,” he said.

All proceeds will go to cover the concert expenses with any extra going into the newly formed The Awake Project that will fund future concerts.

What Nance hopes the teens take away from the concert is what he describes as the musicians’ message.

“It’s a message of hope to hurting teens. They really connect well with teens, talk about the issues teens are dealing with whether it is home life, drugs, teen suicide, cutting or runaways,” he said.

“Seventh Day Slumber wants to bring the kids in and have a good time and have a message that they want to get across.”

The concert will be 7 p.m. May 9 at Boyd County Middle School. Tickets may be purchased at the door.

For more information call (606) 615-4696 or visit TheAwakeProject.com.