Thanks to the generosity of Heartwood family Jonathan, Ever, and Reagan Owens, renowned folk trio Red Molly performed a benefit concert for Heartwood on September 21, 2018, at the historic Garner Performing Arts Center.
Why Red Molly? “Reagan’s first concert was when she was six weeks old to see Red Molly in Durham,” Ever said. “We had fallen in love with their music the previous year when we fell back into ‘roots’ music in our hometown at MerleFest. They signed her cloth diaper that night and she’s been their biggest littlest fan ever since.”
Red Molly combines the talents of Laurie MacAllister (bass), Abbie Gardner (Dobro), and Molly Venter (guitar), who weave together the threads of American music — from folk roots to bluegrass, from heartbreaking ballads to barn-burning honky-tonk. Gracing stages from Denver to Denmark, from Australia to Austin, Red Molly is renowned for their live shows. As four-time featured artists at MerleFest, breakout stars at RockyGrass, and the darlings of the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, the “Mollies” bring audiences to their feet. They certainly brought us to ours!
If you stepped into Heartwood on Friday, Sept 21, you could feel the excitement. Red Molly fever swept the playground, the classrooms, and even the carpool corral, aided by Ms. Sue’s “flyer brigade.” All over school, people were either preparing to attend a party, or — if you were in the office or the Middle & High School — to throw one. Concessions were packed, tickets counted, volunteers gathered, and we were off to the Garner Performing Arts Center. Showtime!
You might have seen photos from the concert on Facebook — or experienced them for yourself — but for those behind the counters, tables, and ticket scanners, the night was a kaleidoscope of smiling faces, happy children, and fantastic music.
Ticket sales alone raised over $5,600 dollars for Heartwood, and we were also grateful to receive donations from some who knew they wouldn’t be able to attend, but still wanted to support the school. In addition, the Middle and High School’s concession stand raised $300 for their class.
Proceeds from the concert have enriched our curriculum at all levels. The Children’s House was able to purchase a set of Montessori Bells, plus materials for music theory works. (See Lynda Dawson’s blog article for more details of how Montessori teaches music.) A collection of Chromebooks expanded research capabilities for our Upper Elementary, Middle and High School. Prior to this purchase, students needed to bring in their own devices for research, which — while providing a great opportunity for lessons on responsible device use and cyber-security — left a potential gap in terms of accessibility and device capability. With the Red Molly proceeds, the classes can offer a consistent online experience, enhancing our already strong research curriculum.
Special thanks and much gratitude to the Owens family for sponsoring the Red Molly concert!