Benefit concerts: Music for a cause


It’s one thing when you go to a concert, or a play, even a puppet show, just for your own entertainment. But when you see a performance in order to lend a hand to others, to reach out for other peoples’ benefit, then it’s another thing entirely.

Last year, I attended a benefit concert held by the members of the Josh Mabellos Experience (yes, the performers from last years’ Winterfest) that included performances from other Leesville student acts like the a cappella group Trollywood. That particular concert’s goal was raising funds for housing projects helping impoverished children in Southeast Asia.

This year, another benefit concert is planned. On Saturday, March 5 at 7:00 p.m. the SMILE Benefit Concert will be held at North Raleigh Methodist Church — and its cause is a little different.

“Four years ago I was diagnosed with a disease called Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, a.k.a POTS,” explains Tessa Kroninger, a senior. “The cause is to raise money towards awareness of the disease that I have. POTS is extremely rare and very few doctors know about it — because many have never heard of it, many people get misdiagnosed.”

POTS doesn’t get the press that many other diseases get, and therefore funding isn’t exactly booming. But don’t think this is like the “Fun Run for Rabies” from that episode of The Office.

“We wanted to do something special,” said Nicole Cesari, a friend of Tessa’s who helped organize the event. “She’s always there for everyone. So, as a birthday surprise, we ended up choosing to do a talent show.”

“I had no idea what they were planning to do for my 18th birthday,” said Kroninger. “For my friends to do something so amazing like this is indescribable; I am extremely blessed.”

So now think to yourself: Where did you hold your last birthday party,and how did you celebrate it? Even better — what gift did you get for everyone else?

“This is something that affects Tessa every day… this is our way of trying to say ‘thank you,’” said Morgan Burke, also involved in the event planning.

Many Leesville acts are gravitating towards what looks like it may be an exciting look into LRHS musical culture. Performers like the rock band Blevins and the Bolsheviks and the folk-rock group Earth, Wind and Lyre, as well as numerous acts from the Pride choral department.

Given all of this — a myriad of entertaining performances, a great cause — why wouldn’t anyone leap at the opportunity to benefit themselves by benefiting others?


  1. Thanks so much fro writing this Eli! It means so much to us and to Tessa. Your band did a great job by the way!

  2. correction: the a cappella group’s name is Trolleywood (with an e), and they are, in fact performing at THIS concert as well.


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