In honour of the late Kenny Rogers, the famous American singer and song-writer who passed away on March 20, 2020, the United churches of Innisfil are hosting a free virtual concert featuring local musicians and bands who will be performing many of Rogers’ songs.
Organized by four United churches in Innisfil – Churchill United, Gilford United, Lefroy United, and St. James United (Stroud) - the online event is this Sunday May 16 at 2 p.m., featuring local country-western singer Naomi Bristow from Beeton, Ontario, and Alcona musician Julia Campisi. Other guest performances will include 'Glenny Rogers', and ‘Dolly Parton’s sister’ 'Mousey Parton', as well as a special musical performance by South Simcoe Police Chief Andrew Fletcher. All performers will be performing at least one Kenny Rogers song.
“These are spontaneous acts that have come forward,” says Donna Wice, who is a member of the St. James United church in Stroud and organizer of the virtual event. “These are the ‘Ken’ versions of what they will be singing.”
This is the United churches’ 9th annual free concert (with the exception of last year’s concert being cancelled due to COVID). Previous concerts (popularly known as 'Innispirit') have been live, in-person at either the St. James Church or the Churchill location during Christmas time.
“We strive for community involvement,” shares Wice, adding that COVID has created challenges for the churches to stay connected with the community.
Wice has nick-named the event 'Kenny Kicks Kovid to the Kurb Koncert' and shares her love of Kenny Rogers is what inspired her to base the theme on his music.
“We’ve always done religious songs in the past,” notes Wice, referring to the United churches’ previous Innispirit concerts. “I love him! (Kenny Rogers) and so many of my age group loved him… it was a sad day when he passed.”
Wice describes listeners will hear some of the classics like ‘The Gambler’ and adds that all songs will be uniquely different hearing them sung by different performers.
“[Kenny Rogers] had a lot of religious songs too. His gospel songs are beautiful," said Wice. “I strongly believe in the social interaction that we’re providing in town, it’s so important right now.”
For the event’s Zoom link, click here.