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An internationally-known composer is lending his talent to help support victims of a tornado that destroyed Henryville, Ind., in March.
Eric Genuis, a Simpsonville resident, will perform a benefit concert April 24 at the Oldham County Schools Arts Center.
“I’m excited about using the music I compose to bring awareness to the need in Henryville,” he said.
Often, support pours into a community immediately following a natural disaster, but wanes before the need is filled, he said.
“These people are still suffering a great deal,” he said.
Members of the La Grange Rotary club are organizing the concert with funds going to the New Albany, Ind., Salvation Army and earmarked for Henryville residents.
Sandy Darst, the club’s president-elect, said Genuis contacted her about sponsoring the event.
“Rotarians always put service above self and this is definitely a cause that we see to be service-oriented,” she said.
Genuis believes music can bring hope and inspiration to listeners and hopes his performance conveys that.
“I want to do music that brings joy, not just entertainment,” he said.
He’ll perform with several other musicians.
Genuis said while he utilizes classical instruments, it won’t be classical music.
“I’m a composer of today — I didn’t live 300 years ago with Beethoven and Bach,” he said. “There’s a certain energy, a certain edge to music today.”
Genuis, originally from Toronto, went to school there before touring around the world.
In 1997 he was invited to headline an AIDS benefit concert attended by 15,000 people and has toured since then, sometimes performing more than 100 concerts per year.
Genuis said it is important to him to share his music with others — from performing at numerous benefit concerts like this one to performing at schools and prisons, he hopes he provides a moving, uplifting experience.
The concert is for all ages, he said, including children.
“People worry about their kids making noise — I have four kids of my own, I’d be distracted if there wasn’t noise,” he joked.
Genuis said he likes interacting with the audience — there will be humor and inspirational stories, he said, not just music. The Oldham County High School Jazz Band will also perform.
“Our culture right now is really lacking in hope,” he said. “What we really need is true inspiration.”
The concert is 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Oldham County Schools Arts Center in Crestwood.
Tickets are $10 and are available in advance and at the door. For information call 797-0829.