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Concert benefits music education


From left, Nash Street members Clay Lezon, Ben Mathis, Hannah Melby, Daniel Hare and Caroline Melby.

From left, Nash Street members Clay Lezon, Ben Mathis, Hannah Melby, Daniel Hare and Caroline Melby. Photo by: Provided


Tim Pratt



Bluegrass and country music fans will have the chance to support a worthy cause and witness a live performance by Starkville musicians Nash Street next weekend during a benefit show at the Greensboro Center.  


The Starkville Foundation for Public Education and the Starkville School District are teaming up to hold the first ever Music Legacy Concert Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. Proceeds from the event will fund the Starkville Foundation for Public Education''s Music Legacy Fund, which was founded by Nash Street and established by the SFPE to provide a student scholarship and teacher grant for music education.  


"We''re very excited," said Heather Carson, president of the Starkville Foundation for Public Education. "I think that Starkville has a thriving music community and to be able to celebrate that within the Starkville School District for one night with Nash Street is a fantastic opportunity. We''re just very fortunate. We''ve had some wonderful talent come out of the school district over the years and this will help raise funds to foster more talent and encourage more enthusiasm about music education." 


Under the direction of Starkville School District strings program Director Norman Mellin, Nash Street was formed 14 years ago when three of its members were students in the SSD. The group went by the name "The Goat Ropers" at the time, but has since grown and now tours all over the U.S. 


"It''s wild to think how different my life would be if Mr. Mellin had not decided to get a couple of his students together to play for square dances and civic events around the Starkville area," said Nash Street fiddle player Hannah Melby, a 2003 graduate of Starkville High School. "Through our story, we hope to raise enough money so that other students may have the opportunity to pursue their dreams in music." 


"Nash Street wants to thank Starkville schools for their support of music education," Hannah added. "This is where future musicians are formed, and it is where they meet their band and orchestral mates, learn to sing harmony, and discover the pleasures of musical creativity." 


Mandolin player Caroline Melby, a 2008 SHS graduate, credited her teachers in the SSD throughout the years with helping her get where she is today. 


"My teachers fully prepared me for college, life and even the music business," she said. "Now, when I look from the stage to the crowd in my hometown and see five of my teachers, I know Starkville public school support goes beyond the classroom." 


Daniel Hare, Nash Street bass player and a 2005 graduate of Starkville High, said he is grateful the SSD provided students with instruments to improve their talents.  


"From the fifth grade through high school graduation, I played music every single day I was in school, and that has made a world of difference in sculpting who I am and what I can do for the rest of my life," Hare said. 


Nash Street''s homecoming concert will also mark the Starkville premiere of the band''s new music video, "Mississippi Queen." 


General admission tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students. The public is encouraged to purchase tickets in advance at the Greensboro Center. 


Organizers also are offering a "Legacy" package. The Legacy package includes a Nash Street t-shirt or CD, autographed photo, reserved concert seating and admission to a pre-concert reception at 5:30 pm to honor the band. Tickets are $75 for a single Legacy package or $100 for a couples package. 


Call the Starkville Foundation for Public Education at 662-701-7579 to reserve tickets or learn more about sponsorship opportunities.



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