This Friday, lend your support to the Americana Music Academy

It's the time of year for holiday shows, arts bazaars, crafts and good cheer, but December also brings us several opportunities to give back, help out, and show a little pride in our community in the process. has been highlighting some of the events and projects in our area that feature local artists and artisans using their natural talents to support community charities and non-profits.

One such event this week is the Americana Music Academy's holiday show. Currently, the academy is running on empty with no money remaining for scholarships, music therapy, or any of the other services the non-profit provides. Volunteers at the academy are hoping that proceeds generated from the show will be enough to replenish their scholarship fund.

"It's really important that these kids who are getting started with their music are given the opportunity to continue, without feeling like they're not going to be able to do it. That's one of the reasons we do what we do with scholarships, so that students can continue their education, " Americana representative Diane Gillenwater said.

Planned for Friday at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H., this year's holiday show has a Celtic theme with Irish and Scottish holiday music joining traditional holiday standards. Local musicians including Cindy Novelo, Scott Richardson and Scott Trichenor will perform with Topeka group Pastense providing sing-a-long carols at the program's conclusion.

For the show's finale, a choir of Kazoo players will blow through "The Hallelujah Chorus" as lead by Americana Music Academy board president K.C. Compton. Everyone in attendance is given a kazoo and audience is participation is encouraged.

"I think the Americana is important because creating music with other people creates community and also, I know that if you learn to play an instrument or sing, that becomes a part of you for the rest of your life," Compton said.

The performance starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday tickets are $10. Or you can make a direct donation here.


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