BRENTWOOD -- Liberty High School has made its mark, being selected from hundreds of high schools -- one of only 30 on the West Coast -- to host "Glee" musician Derik Nelson's "Take Chances Tour" concert as a fundraiser to benefit the school's drama program.
On Nov. 7, Nelson, along with his team, will raise the roof beams of the Allan E. Jones Performing Arts Center with a full-scale pop/rock concert. Family-friendly and open to the public, students at Liberty are actively selling tickets and inviting neighboring communities to attend.
Derik, lead guitarist on Fox's "Glee," organized this "Take Chances Tour" as a way to help high schools along the West Coast raise money through ticket sales to combat budget cuts affecting arts funding. Derik, his brother Dalten, and sister Riana grew up in public schools and feel strongly about the arts, music and giving back. Through creative planning and helpful strategies, the "Take Chances Tour" wants to give schools the opportunity to raise $100,000 collectively through the evening concert series.
Helen Dixon, Liberty High School theater arts director, said she is totally psyched about the fundraiser that she learned about from one of her students. Dixon investigated the Take Chances website, asked questions and submitted an application. The rest, as they say, is history, as Liberty High School was selected.
The event is a first for the school. "I've been here for 25 years and I can't think of any time that anyone who has television fame and a recording career has been at the school," she said. "It's exciting and we're thrilled to be able to give this opportunity to the people of this area and to make it be something that's good for the school."
Depending on tickets sales, the school can be expected to earn between $2,000 and $5,000 from the concert. Dixon plans to use the proceeds to begin the process of outfitting the performing arts center with theatrical LED lighting, lighting that is more green, more energy-efficient and that will provide many more artistic choices for lighting design. The school district has agreed to match the profits from the concert.
"If we sell the house out we can make up to $5,000, which means we'll have $10, 000," Dixon said. "That's a huge incentive."
To further pass on the Take Chances message, Nelson and his team will participate in a free master class assembly the day of the concert.
"The team will talk about their music and some of the chances they've taken, the risks they've made," Dixon said. "Then there'll be a question-and-answer period regarding their careers and careers in the music industry and television."
The fundraiser is important to the school and Dixon is honored that Liberty High School was chosen. It's also important to Derik Nelson.
"I was fortunate enough to have a very supportive arts program at my high school (Capital High School, Olympia, Wash.). It was extremely formative in establishing my passion for performing and my pursuit of a career in music. I want to do anything I can to help other people realize their dreams and help other high schools have the same opportunities that I had," Nelson said.
"This tour is important not only because I get to live my dreams and play music for people, but because it's providing high schools with the opportunity to raise significant funds for their arts and music programs."
A ticket sale incentive program is already in place encouraging early ticket sales for incentives like Playmaker/ITS points and vouchers for "Shrek, the Musical," the school's spring production. Dixon's Booster Club also decided to award the top ticket seller a choice of $100 or tickets to the Junior Prom or Senior Ball.
Dixon has high praise for the tour members, citing their continued correspondence and genuine interest in the school and she believes their interest sends an important message to students. "This tells students that they're important," she said. "That such a group would be willing to come here and help us raise funds for something that is important to us."
Nelson adds his own enthusiasm. "Our entire team is extremely excited for our stop at Liberty! The enthusiasm and support we've seen already via social media has been monumental, and thanks to the hard work of Staci Harpole, Helen Dixon, and the LHS students, I believe our Liberty concert will be a total win-win as well as one of the highlights of our entire tour," he said.
For more information about Derik Nelson's fundraising music tour: www.deriknelson/tour.
What: "Derik Nelson's Take Chances Tour" concert
When: 7 p.m. Nov. 7
Where: Liberty High School Allan E. Jones Performing Arts Center, 850 Second St., Brentwood
Info: 925-5699-2451 or http://libertyunion.schoolwires.net//Domain/713
Cost: $15 students or $25 VIP seating (first four rows)