Making music

Area musicians are coming together once again for charity.

The second Mishler Bands Together for Charity concert will take place at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 11 at the Mishler Theatre in downtown Altoona.

The concert “features very talented regional bands, and the proceeds are shared between the Mishler Theatre and the charity of our choice. And this year, it’s Family Services, Inc., so half of the proceeds will be going to Family Services to support their good works in the community,” said Kate Shaffer, executive director of the Blair County Arts Foundation.

Participating volunteer musical acts are Pure Cane Sugar, Tommy Wareham, Tyne and the Fastlyne, Born and the BEaNstalk, The Backyard Rockers, Your Dad’s Friends, Ground Crew, Root and the Fifths, Vic Rizzo and John McKelvey, Pat McGinnis, Last Stand, Steve Summerhill and Mama Corn.

Your Dad’s Friends is new to the event this year, and is looking forward to participating, said band member Rick Herbster of Altoona.

“We’re always happy to give back. We think that this is an important part of whatever you do, to be able to give back … good people do good things, and we’re happy to be a part of a good thing like this,” he said.

Dr. Victor Rizzo, a local chiropractor and musician, got the ball rolling for the local event that kicked off last year when he approached the Mishler board about having a charity concert similar to one in State College. In its first year, the event raised more than $5,000, Shaffer said. The proceeds were split between the Mishler and St. Vincent DePaul Food for Families.

“As you know, many of the human service organizations struggle for donations,” she said. The concert is “an opportunity for them to raise money outside of the fundraising activities that they normally produce themselves. And it’s ideal for us, as a good community partner, to be able to assist other organizations in their goals in helping people in need in our community. So it’s kind of a win-win for everybody. Plus, it’s a very entertaining evening for the folks who attend.”

But not necessarily just for the audience.

“When we’re playing, we don’t get a chance to see other bands, and so I think our band is looking forward to seeing other bands perform and being entertained by some of these other great bands,” Herbster said. “And for anyone else in the Altoona area that would be open on Jan. 11, I’m just hoping that they come out and fill the Mishler and support some of the great bands that are in Blair County and the surrounding area and also support this great event.”

Mirror Staff Writer Amanda Gabeletto is at 949-7030.