Music faculty perform to benefit wounded warriors

Dr. Wayne Gallops

Dr. Wayne Gallops

The virtuosic sounds of keyboard artist and Radford University faculty member Wayne Gallops will be on full display at Wind Driven II, a concert to benefit wounded warriors through Guitars for Vets, Inc.

The concert, to be performed on Sunday, August 11 at 3 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Roanoke, will feature interpretations of classical and jazz selections by Gallops and a handful of his musician friends.

"These are big, loud and fun kinds of pieces," Gallops said of his planned selections which include works by Brahms and Bach. "I'll be playing on the 75 rank Schantz which is one of the largest pipe organs in the mid-Atlantic."

In addition to the classical music, Gallops will be joined by several guests - flautist Julee Hickox and bassist John Smith IV from the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra and percussionist and Chair of the RU Department of Music Al Wojtera - for a rendition of Claude Bolling's "Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano."

The challenging Bolling piece requires musicians that are well-versed in both classical and jazz. Although many musicians may be an expert in one form or the other, the featured musicians will perform the lively, audience-friendly piece expertly, Gallops said.

Although the concert is free and open to the public, an offering will be taken to benefit Guitars for Vets, Inc., a national organization that aims to enhance the lives of injured and ailing veterans through the healing power of music. Guitars for Vets, which operates regionally in the Salem VA Medical Center, provides free guitar lessons and a free guitar to veterans who are referred into the program by a care provider.

"I try to perform these concerts once a year and I like to stage them as benefits," Gallops said. "Any proceeds will go to helping these injured men and women learn to play guitar. Once they've finished their lessons, they get to keep the brand new acoustic guitar they've been using."

According to the RU professor, the opportunity to benefit a great cause is more than enough reason to gather some friends for an evening of great music.

"This is a music education program that really helps add something in a therapeutic setting," Gallops said. "These are the kind of things that we want to support."

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Jul 31, 2013
Dan Waidelich
(540) 831-7749