Ben Speaks Concert In Medway To Honor Suicide Victims, Bring Community Together

Naples Concert Band Kicks Off 42nd Season with Memorial Concert

Five months after her sons April 2009 death, Giovangelo started a nonprofit organization called “Ben Speaks Louder Than Words,” which focuses on preventing teen suicide and providing methods to help teens cope with their problems. Each year since, Ben Speaks organizes an event – A Concert to Remember, which Giovangelo calls a “healing concert for families, using the very powerful medium of music.” The concert was first held at the New England Chapel in Franklin, and at the New England Baptist Church in Newton the previous two years. This Saturday the event will be held at the place where Giovangelo, now the executive director of Ben Speaks, said her son was a target of bullying Medway High School. “As a mother, you can imagine I had to go through my own process and kind of pulled out of Medway,” Giovangelo said. Although Ben Speaks has grown “exponentially,” in four years, Giovangelo said the organization is “very homegrown.” The youth board advisors, she said, meet every other week at Medway Public Library. But holding an event in the same building and town where her son was bullied until he took his own life, she said, will be very different. “Its going to be very healing for my family and me,” she said. In Needham, Giovangelo said a suicide coalition was created after the town experienced four teenage suicides over an 18-month period from 2005 to 2006. But she said Medway did little to address the four teenage suicides in Medway since 2009. “When my son died, it was horrific the way it was handled,” she said, adding that the issue was “swept right under the rug” after some time. In todays fast-moving culture, Giovangelo said people are expected to move on quickly, but when a child dies because of “systematic issues in culture,” it becomes difficult. “Teen suicide and bullying are up front and in our faces today,” she added.

Concert preview: Perfectly Frank: Pop goes Broadway with ‘Wildhorn & Friends’ at BYU Bravo! series

Songs and soloists that Bill introduced during his conducting tenure will be featured. The Paradise Brass Quintet will pay tribute to Bill with Thats A Plenty, and Amazing Grace. Vocalist, Jenny Bintliff, will present A Judy Garland Medley. Tuba soloist, Joe Choomack, will also be featured in Carioca from Rio de Janeiro. Two of Bills favorite arrangements, Pilatus, by Steven Reineke and Stevie Wonders Sir Duke will be performed. Marches, Oktoberfest Polkas, Broadway Show Tunes, and the Rimsky-Korsakov Classic, Scheherazade will round out the program. Special thanks to NCB entertainer sponsor, Sun Reality, Diane J. Brennan, GRI. Guests are encouraged to arrive early with lawn chairs and blankets for seating. Admission is free, with donations appreciated. Donations received at each concert help to defray operating expenses and are applied to The Bands Scholarship Fund, which awards scholarships each year to deserving student members of The Band. For those interested in learning more about the Naples Concert Band, there will be a tent at all performances with information about future concerts, sponsorships, volunteer opportunities, and how to become a Fan of the Band and receive a complimentary NCB tote bag. The Naples Concert Band is a non-profit organization dedicated to entertaining the community with old-fashioned concerts in the park.

So the combination of playing with a band again, which I love to do so much, and being able to share those stories has led to this new thing in my life, with Frank & Friends. Though a variety of soloists have appeared with Wildhorn, making each concert unique, the BYU performance will be unlike the preceding outings. This will be the first time for a bunch of things, he says, including: The first performance where he was hired directly by a university to perform, instead of through a commercial booking agency. The first time Into the Fire, the stirring breakout anthem of The Scarlet Pimpernel, will be sung with a large chorus of mens voices at his concert. The first time works from his latest show Excalibur, which will open in Switzerland in March, will be publicly performed. The first time songs will be included from Bonnie & Clyde, his last-seen-on-Broadway musical. Bonnie & Clyde is bittersweet for me, he explains. I love it very much, and audiences love the show. Its been staged internationally and been a hit everywhere its played, except for one city, New York City. While Jekyll & Hyde ran for four years on Broadway, his subsequent musicals have struggled to duplicate the long-running, widely sold out success. Wildhorn is highly popular with audiences, but he still gets the cold shoulder from some New York theater critics adverse to his pop pedigree. Wildhorn is aware that The Scarlet Pimpernel is immensely popular in Utah and he lights up to learn that Bonnie & Clyde will receive its state premiere when Utah Repertory Theater Company produces the fan-favorite musical Nov. 8-23.