$4000 Scholarship Awarded to High School Graduate
The weather was pretty chilly Saturday by Florida standards (reaching the low 50s), but that didn’t prevent Rock For Hunger from successfully hosting their fifth-annual music festival on Festival Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl.
The festival, which ran from 3pm to 12am on Saturday, November 6, featured headliners Keller Williams, The Lee Boys, and Zach Deputy. Rival Sons, Beth McKee, The Fling, and Beebs and Her Money Makers made appearances as well.
Rock For Hunger is a project created by UCF alumnus Chris Goyzueta in the summer of 2006, and has grown substantially since its inception.
“In the past we had a team of four to six people that organized the event, and this year it took a team of twenty,” Goyzueta said.
This year’s festival was undoubtedly Rock For Hunger’s biggest yet, as there were three performance stages and multiple vendors serving a wide variety of food.
Goyzueta’s goal was to find a diverse selection of artists that would not only entertain audiences, but would spread the message of giving.
“I always look for acts that fit the cause, usually the jam bands, reggae, the bluesy stuff, and New Orleans type bands,” stated Goyzueta.
This year Goyzueta and the rest of the Rock for Hunger crew worked with the New Image Youth Center, an organization that assists at-risk students. The youth center recently reached a milestone: a student of theirs graduated high school.
The student, Robert Jean, was awarded the first annual Rock For Hunger College Scholarship, a check of $4000. The scholarship allows Mr. Jean to enroll at Valencia Community College, where he will study culinary arts.
What is Robert’s reaction to receiving the scholarship?
“It feels awesome,” he said.
The volunteers involved in the festival were as ardent about the project as Goyzueta. Public relations volunteer Oscar Lindquist was especially grateful to contribute to a concert for a cause. “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Lindquist.
Musically, Rock for Hunger 5 was rich with highlights, and among the most memorable moments of the show included The Lee Boys’ performance.
The Lee Boys’ sound is largely inspired by sacred steel, an African American music tradition developed in churches in the 1930s which combines gospel with pedal steel guitar in place of the conventional organ.
“We’re gonna have a good time,” belted lead vocalists’ Keith Lee and Derrick Lee on their song “Let’s Celebrate.” It’s safe to say that the Lee Boys’ church music influence came in handy here, as they certainly knew how to rev up the crowd with their chant. The steel guitar was just as pleasing to hear, as each twanging, yearning note plucked by guitarist Alvin Lee hit close to home.
Keller Williams brought his A-game as well, as his set offered something for everyone. The audience experienced a melting pot of genres in his performance, from bluegrass to jazz to funk. Williams’ eclectic style and virtuosity blew the audience out of the water.
Rock for Hunger 5 was a resounding success fueled by passion, hard work, and purpose. Hopefully Rock For Hunger will be here to stay, striving to improve the community one chord at a time.
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