Homegrown benefits music ministry

Sounds of Grace provides healing, comfort

BY IVY MOORE
Special to The Sumter Item
Posted 4/29/18

Homegrown is an adjective of high praise. It describes the musicians who will share their talents in concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 3, at the Sumter Opera House, and it's also the title of the program.

Kipper Ackerman, executive director of …

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Homegrown benefits music ministry

Sounds of Grace provides healing, comfort

Posted

Homegrown is an adjective of high praise. It describes the musicians who will share their talents in concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 3, at the Sumter Opera House, and it's also the title of the program.

Kipper Ackerman, executive director of The Sounds of Grace, a nonprofit music ministry, said the musicians participating in the concert are members of the community who volunteer their talents to support the ministry's mission. That mission is "to bring peace and healing through music by placing musicians in classrooms for those with special needs" and in other places where comfort is needed, such as hospitals and other health care facilities.

Funds raised from the Homegrown concert will benefit the upkeep of instruments, transportation and other needs to support volunteer musicians such as Ackerman herself, who can often be found playing her harp for those who need the comfort music can bring.

She will also speak about The Sounds of Grace and offer a brief narrative about one of her meaningful experiences with the ministry.

Ackerman, her husband, Curt, and her father, Hank Edens are among the many musicians who will take the Opera House stage for the concert.

"They love to do it," Ackerman said, "and audiences have come to know them. All of the musicians have professional careers outside of the music field, and this is an opportunity for them to share their music and be a part of The Sounds of Grace."

She said most of the music will be familiar, "and we'll be bringing back songs we haven't heard in a long time - things that resonate with us."

Mark Mitchiner, who performs with Tripp Boykin as Hints and Allegations, said it's the mission of The Sounds of Grace that motivates him to volunteer his talents for the Homegrown benefits.

"I like being a part of a ministry that is larger than myself," he said. "I can help impact others in a positive and anonymous way. I am challenged by the talent and lives led by others who participate in the event."

While many of the performers are returning, there are several new to the benefit, Ackerman said. She and Curt will be joined by Matthew Eldridge on fiddle and Brett Frasier on banjo.

"We'll be doing a lot of our own arrangements," Ackerman said. "Some of the music we'll play is by Guy Clark, John Denver, Jimmy Buffett and Fleetwood Mac. We'll be adding our own flair."

Ackerman said she will also accompany her father, Hank Edens, who will be singing.

Kevin Jarvis and Allie Nance will play several selections and will be joined by Blake Moseley.

Jock Hendricks, on piano and vocals, will bring jazz pieces - two of his favorites - and a Merle Haggard piece.

Bass player Jeff Wilson and drummer Jay Hodge will sit in with Mitchiner and Boykin on music Hints and Allegations have picked for the concert.

"They have learned what the audience likes from previous Homegrown concerts," Ackerman said. "They'll play everything from Dobie Gray to Van Morrison, and they'll have a special guest musician they affectionately call 'D Lo' joining them. I'll do a Kelly Clarkson song with them."

Two of Ackerman's former students, Allie Nance and Abney Rhodes, will join her on vocals for a Fleetwood Mac song, accompanied by guitar and banjo.

Members of the award-winning Lakewood High School choir will help close out the first half of the concert and will sing in the finale, when all of the musicians and vocalists will perform together.

Prior to the concert, a special event will be held at 6 p.m. in the City Centre adjacent to the Sumter Opera House. Tickets are limited for this pre-concert, Ackerman said, which will feature live music by Kevin Jarvis and Ashlee Holloman, who perform as From the Morning. The $50 tickets will include admission to the Homegrown concert, heavy hors d'oeuvres and beverages, and participants will be able to purchase artworks by Ray Davenport, donated to The Sounds of Grace by his family. Tickets to this special event can be purchased at the Church of the Holy Comforter office on the corner of North Main and Calhoun streets or by calling (803) 491-5514.

Tickets for Homegrown, a benefit concert for The Sounds of Grace, are $25 general admission for the 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 3, event at the Sumter Opera House, 21 N. Main St. They can be purchased at the Opera House box office, Olive Tree bookstore on Bultman Drive or online at www.SumterOperaHouse.com.

For more information about The Sounds of Grace, visit the website www.thesoundsofgrace.com or call (803) 491-5514.