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Tunes help local charities


When Dan Green of Carbonear used to spend time with his best friend, one of the topics they would speak about was his friend’s niece.

Photo by Robert Thornhill/Special to The Compass
The Troubadours come from as far away as St. John’s to perform once a month at the Princess Sheila NaGeira Theatre in Carbonear. All money raised goes to charity. Members of the group are, front (l-r) — Sharon LeShane, Jennifer Baker, Cory Hunt and Harris Porter; back — Dan Green, Rick Lundrigan and Ryan Jacobs.

Little did he know that topic would form the foundation of a little group dedicated to helping others by sharing a few tunes.

It turned out his friend’s niece, Jennifer Baker of Victoria, had a talent for singing, something Dan also loved to do. Before getting the chance to meet her, his best friend died. But at the funeral, Dan saw a young woman singing. He immediately thought she had immense talent and asked who she was. It was Jennifer. They met and immediately connected.

For a few years, the duo sang at different functions, including church events.

After a while, Dan recruited his neighbour Sharon LeShane. Over the next little while, Chad Hunt of Harbour Grace, Harris Porter of Port de Grave, Rick Linthorne of Georgetown and Ryan Jacobs of Northern Bay signed on, rounding out the Troubadours.

“They are each very talented in their own right,” Dan explained.

  Concerts

It began as an idea, doing an old time country music concert to raise money for charitable causes. Dan had no idea if it would be successful, but the members of the Troubadours were on board.

They began hosting shows at the Sheila NaGeira Theatre on the second Friday of each month with other local performers.

“One hundred and fifty,” Dan said, recalling how many tickets were sold for the first show in the fall of 2013. “There was 184 at the second, and 215 for the third.”

In fact, Dan knew exactly how many people attended each concert.

April 10, a year-and-a-half after the first show, marked the fifth consecutive sellout at the 379 seat venue. In fact, there were almost 100 people turned away because there were no more tickets.

What started as just an idea blew up into a huge success, said Dan.

  Supporting charities

Each event usually focuses on a different charity.

The concerts have helped many organizations, including the St. Vincent de Paul food bank, O’Shaunessey House in Carbonear, the Victoria Firefighters Association, January Children’s Christmas program, Cystic Fibrosis Newfoundland and Labrador chapter, Newfoundland and Labrador Autism Society and the Angel Fund.

They also hosted an event for the family of the late Sarah Turpin, a mother of three who lost a short battle with cancer last October.

They recently dedicated three consecutive shows to the Carbonear Hospital Auxiliary. The first was for new patient chairs, the second for ICU chairs and equipment and the third helped fund a pain bed.

Dan said they tend to gravitate towards registered charities because there are so many great causes they could support. Picking a registered charity, he explained, would allow a wide range of people to receive assistance, as is the case with the hospital.

Each member continues to perform without pay, so the money can help out those in need.

“Those who come to our concerts are giving a little towards helping someone else.”

  Performances

The shows consist of old time country and country gospel music.

Tammy Wynette, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Hank Snow and many other legends of country music are idolized in song during the concerts.

Local musicians and singers have been lining up to be a part of the show. Dan has over 40 names on a waiting list to perform.

“We get a lot of talent at the local coffee houses,” he said.

Some of the other performers who have been a part of the show include Matthew Cooper, Wayne Button, Selby Mesher, Josh Chubbs, Charlene Sudbrink and many others. They have also hosted groups like the Bethany United Church men’s choir.

For Jennifer, who is not big on being the spotlight, it’s been an experience unlike any other.

“Everywhere I go now people will come up to me and say hi,” she laughed. “And everybody always says how much they loved the show.”

When it comes to advertising, the group relies mostly on word of mouth and social media. A few dozen posters are also placed up in community centres, post offices and other bulletin boards across the Trinity Conception region.

Dan also used to send out 60 to 70 emails to friends and family to try and fill the seats. Nowadays, that’s not as much of an issue.

Dan arranges the stage show, which includes MC Diane Anthony for each performance. Everyone involved spends hours preparing for the event, because each month is a different show with different songs.

There will be another performance May 8, but the performers have not yet been announced. The charity of choice has also not been determined.

If you would like to perform at any of the upcoming shows or have a charitable cause that could use the assistance, contact Dan Green at 596-3087.

 

melissa.jenkins@tc.tc

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