Bill Deasy and Friends in concert at the Oaks Theater

November 14, 2018 GMT

John Hower says the second annual Deasy and Friends Autumn Concert at the Oaks Theater will be a night full of music and fun.

It will be that, but the event also represents more to him, his friends and his Oakmont neighbors that are coming together to make the show a success.

The concert at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27 will benefit the Erica Ann Hower Education Scholarship Fund.

Erica, John’s wife, taught kindergarten in the Highlands School District and dedicated her life to education. She battled breast cancer for many years and passed in January 2017.

John says he wanted to channel her legacy into the education scholarship fund, a nonprofit organization established in August 2017 with a mission to provide financial scholarships to Riverview High School seniors entering into a career involving education.

Scholarships awarded

“We have raised over $18,000 and have already issued multiple scholarships to deserving students, as well as providing classroom assistance to kindergarten students at Riverview as well as Fairmont Elementary in Highlands, which is where my wife taught kindergarten for many years,” he says.

This year’s concert will again feature Oakmont musicians Bill Deasy of the Gathering Field and Robert James Hertweck of the Clarks, who are producing the show. Other performers will feature Rhian Kenny (flutist), Meredith Kokur (a Riverview senior vocalist) and Dave Longstreth on sound and visuals.

Oakmont talent

“Another notable performer who will join us in two songs will be Whitesnake and Winger guitarist Reb Beach, who also lives in Oakmont,” Deasy says. “We are tapping a lot of hidden treasures and a lot of Oakmont talent.”

Hertweck’s daughter, Maddie, and Deasy’s son, Gideon, also will be performing.

Bill Deasy says he’s happy to contribute his time and talents to such a worthwhile project as the Erica Ann Hower Education Scholarship Fund.

“I’m always privileged to do what I love for a good cause,” he says. “Oakmont is a tight-knit community. It’s a no-brainer to get involved when loss ripples deeply through the community.”

Deasy says the 2017 show was such a success that everyone was willing to get onboard for another performance.

“It was a little magical last year,” he says. “When you do something to put a hopeful spin on a sad event, it takes on a life of its own.”