CHRISTIANSBURG – A rocking fun concert will be held at the Christiansburg High School on Friday, January 18, 2019 to benefit a CHS graduate battling Burkitt’s lymphoma.
Three local bands and the CHS music department are hoping to raise more than $3,000 to help CHS alum Jackson Shockley and his family with medical costs. The concert will feature The Kind, Barren Minds and Drifter.
Tom Snediker is an Instructional Designer at Radford University’s Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. Snediker is also a member of the band, The Kind. A Blacksburg based folk-rock band playing their styles of classic rock, R&B, and jazz to bluegrass and country. After organizing a benefit concert for Blacksburg High School’s band program in April 2018, Snediker recently contacted David Miller, CHS Band Director, to organize a similar event for CHS music department.
Miller appreciated the offer but had recently learned former student, Shockley, had been diagnosed with a form of cancer. Shockley had graduated from CHS in 2018 after being an active chorus and band member. While fundraising for the CHS music department was welcomed, Miller and Snediker decided the concert would best benefit Shockley. Snediker and Shockley had actually performed together in a church band.
Matt Knost, a friend of the Shockley family and parents, Shelly and Steve, says he thinks the benefit is a great idea.
“Jackson was in the CHS band with my daughter, Bekka,” said Knost. “I think he was the most talented drummer at CHS. It is great doing this concert for him.”
Shelly and Steve were active band booster parents while their children, Victoria and Jackson, attended CHS.
“Jackson’s parents were great volunteers for the music program,” Miller said. “This concert is a way to help and give back.”
Miller said, “Jackson was able to visit CHS before the winter break after his first round of chemo. I understand that he is in the middle of his second round this week. He is hopeful.”
The benefit concert will feature three bands with some members who are current or former CHS students: Barren Minds, The Kind and Drifter.
Grayson Semones is a current CHS chorus and band student as well as the bass player in the band, Barren Minds. Semones became friends with Shockley in the CHS Blue Demons marching band for 2017-2018 school year.
Semones said, “It was exciting to approached by Mr. Miller and be asked as friends of Jackson to do this concert. This is a good cause. Families need all this support.”
Barren Minds’ rhythm guitarist Joey Kamienski is also a sophomore who knew Shockley through the marching band. Kamienski had seen Shockley play the drums for the Drifter band once at a local restaurant.
Kamienski said “Our band felt gracious for the opportunity to help Jackson. A family should not have to bear such debt on their own.”
Cost of admission is $5.00 and additional donations would be greatly appreciated. Concert starts at 7:00 PM in the 100 Independence Blvd CHS auditorium.
Miller said, “This is good way to use music.”
A GoFundMe page has also been established for Jackson Shockley and his family to help with medical expenses, and other costs associated with daily travel to and from the Roanoke Memorial Hospital where he often must stay for three weeks during his treatments.