Belmont University has teamed with Nashville’s famed music industry to bring about “An Evening for Restoration: Music City Comes Together for Tsunami Relief,” a special benefit concert scheduled for 7 p.m., Wednesday, January 26, 2005 at the Massey Performing Arts Center on the Belmont campus. The one-night only benefit concert, which is bringing together a number of Nashville’s major music organizations as well as artists from a variety of genres, will benefit World Vision, the international relief agency which has thousands of staff members on the ground working in the stricken South Asian region where more than 160,000 people have died.
Co-hosted by Michael W. Smith and Kathy Mattea, “An Evening for Restoration: Music City Comes Together for Tsunami Relief,” takes place on the one-month anniversary of the natural disaster. Each performance is being tailored to reflect the evening’s purpose – restoration and hope for the 12 countries affected by the tsunami. Confirmed performers include Steven Curtis Chapman, Marty Roe of Diamond Rio, CeCe Winans, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Steve Cropper, the Oak Ridge Boys, Kirk Whalum, tobyMac, Crystal Gayle, MercyMe, Lee Greenwood, The Whites, Raul Malo, The Crabb Family, Dr. Bobby Jones, Michael Martin Murphey, the Nashville Chamber Orchestra and a contingent of Grand Ole Opry stars. More artists are confirming for the show daily.
The concert will be produced with donated goods and volunteer staffing, including the use of the Massey Performing Arts Center at Belmont University. Band equipment, lighting, sound, stage design and all other elements of the evening are being provided by local music companies at no charge.
Tickets for “An Evening for Restoration: Music City Comes Together for Tsunami Relief” will go on sale at 10 a.m. Wednesday, January 19 through the Belmont University box office (615-460-8500) and through Ticket Master (615-255-9600 or www.ticketmaster.com). Tickets will cost $25, with 100 percent of the ticket price going to World Vision. Those attending the concert will have an opportunity to make additional contributions to World Vision that night.
In addition to the roster of Nashville artists performing on the show, most of the city’s music associations have joined together in supporting and endorsing “An Evening of Restoration: Music City Comes Together for Tsunami Relief.” Participating organizations include CMA, GMA, ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, NSAI, IBMA, IEBA, NATD and others.
“An Evening for Restoration: Music City Comes Together for Tsunami Relief” will be heard live, exclusively on XM Satellite Radio. Due to the broad range of artists participating, the concert will be broadcast on both XM Live (Channel 200) as well as America (XM Channel 10) taking the historic event beyond the boundaries of Music City and into the homes and automobiles of the 3.2 million members of the XM Nation.
The focus of the evening will be on the gathering of community, according to John W. Styll, president of the Gospel Music Association (GMA). “This concert will be unique to Nashville and the collection of inspiring music performed at ‘An Evening for Restoration’ will be extraordinary. We hope to bring a large community together to make our voices heard, in song and prayer, of our support for the millions of children left without parents, the millions of mothers and fathers without jobs and homes and the millions of Asians left hopeless after a tragedy beyond anything we can comprehend.”
Noted Ed Benson, Executive Director of the Country Music Association (CMA): “The Nashville music community has a long history of coming to the aid of those in need by doing what we do best. Music has a restorative quality that offers support and consolation in difficult times. This time we are singing to help the world raise money for a uniquely important cause.”
Added Event Producer Robert Swope: “This is a one time opportunity for the entire entertainment industry in Music City to unite under a common banner. Gospel, Country, Christian, Rock, Blues, Classical, Pop and R&B artists will join together, on one stage, for an evening of inspired song with ALL the proceeds going to a world renowned humanitarian organization that has aided children and their families through the worst of times, around the world, for over half a century. It will be a wonderfully profound event.” Swope is also president of Sunrise Entertainment.
The benefit concert is a part of Project Restore, established to serve as the gospel music industry’s unified campaign for raising awareness of how the music community and its fans can be involved, including encouraging financial donations to World Vision and other relief agencies which are directly providing disaster relief for the countries and the victims of the tsunami.
Steven Curtis Chapman is the artist spokesperson for Project Restore and one of the artists performing at “An Evening of Restoration.” Chapman is the father of three adopted Asian children, making the tsunami crisis even more personal to him. He says, “As a community of people who create art for the purpose of showing the glory and greatness of our God through music I believe moments in history like these are the very reason we exist. Who we are in these times is the essence of why we are, so it’s my prayer and hope, that as we carry this banner of compassion everyone will join in alongside us and watch what God will do through us.”
World Vision has been providing relief in most of the areas impacted by the tsunami, with 3,700 staff on the ground in the five hardest-hit countries alone. World Vision staff has been distributing survival packs of food, bottled water, medicine, sleeping mats, clothing, and household items to tens of thousands of people. World Vision has set a $100 million goal to help the victims of the South Asia disaster, the largest single commitment in the organization’s 54-year history.