Music 4 Martin brings a message to Woodstock
For more than a decade, Music 4 Martin, a concert at Grace Lutheran Church in Woodstock, has been bringing people closer together.
Now in its 11th year, the free concert will return to the church at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, March 10.
Producer Ken West said he hopes this year’s Music 4 Martin concert will draw the largest crowd yet. Between 200 and 300 people are expected to attend.
The concert will feature a variety of artistic pieces from artists ranging in age from 8 to 60.
“Music 4 Martin is intergenerational,” said West.
Woodstock North High School student Anders Johnson will perform a song and guitar piece, and, in continuance of an 11-year tradition, painter Gabe Kargainus will create a live painting as the program “so inspires him,” said West.
West also will participate in the concert by means of a spoken-word piece he’s written.
“We also have a half dozen or more new young [participants] this year,” West continued.
Two such participants include sisters Fania and Estelle Villarreal, who will perform a piano and violin instrumental of the song “Lean On Me.”
In addition to the performances, a DVD created especially for Woodstock’s Pioneer Center for Human Services will be shown. A collection for the nonprofit also will be taken.
Music 4 Martin grew out of a former McHenry County College celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. West said he and his two sons used to participate in the celebration.
“I was a big fan of King when I was younger,” said West. “A lot of my beliefs are aligned with what King believed in.”
After thinking it over, West said he and his sons decided it would be great to “do their own thing” in relation to a King celebration. After approaching Grace Lutheran Church with their idea, West, his sons and a number of McHenry County College students launched the first Music 4 Martin concert.
“[Music 4 Martin] is not another funeral for King,” he said. “It is for [people] to reacquaint themselves with his philosophies.
“It’s also a chance for kids to show off [their talents] and a place where people make new friends. [Many] musical collaborations come out of the concert.”
Most importantly, West emphasized the true reason behind the concert. Music 4 Martin, he said, is a way to get people to think about how they are positively impacting society.
“[Like King taught us], things don’t have to stay a certain way,” West said. “We can empower people to make a difference in the lives of others.”
T-shirts will be available for purchase at the concert for $8. All proceeds will benefit next year’s event. West said Creekside Middle School students will earn extra credit for attending Music 4 Martin. Additionally, Northwood Middle School students will have the opportunity to earn Northwood Pride Dollars – dollars that can be redeemed at the school store – for attending the show.
Grace Lutheran Church is at 1300 Kishwaukee Valley Road, Woodstock. For information, call 815-338-0554.