News Column

New Buddy Holly Band rocks for K'Star June 27-28

June 20, 2014

By Donna Gable Hatch, Kerrville Daily Times, Texas

June 20--The New Buddy Holly Band performs June 27-28 at the Summer Sock Hop, a fundraiser for K'Star, a nonprofit that provides counseling, guidance, education and emergency shelter to runaways, abused or at-risk youth and their families.

The concert is at 7:30 p.m. at Kathleen C. Cailloux Center for the Performing Arts, 910 Main St., Kerrville.

Tickets range from $15 to $55.

"The purpose of the fundraiser is to raise funds for K'Star's general operating fund and to help refurbish the floors in the emergency shelter," said Vicki Barron, executive director of the nonprofit, who said they hope to raise $7,500.

As local fans know, the band formed in 2011 when the Point Theater produced "The Buddy Holly Story." The production was so successful that the group -- which includes Chris Huber as the iconic Buddy Holly, Greg Bitkower on guitar, Michael Martin behind the drum kit, Brad Shearhart on bass and Karen Billingsly on keyboard -- decided to stay together after the show's run.

"We have a special chemistry, and that makes playing together one of life's pleasures. All the tunes are from the same '50s and early-'60s time period as Buddy, the Beach Boys and beyond, but we will play a few Buddy Holly songs that we have not played in quite a while," said Bitkower, whose wife, Ellen, wrote the original grant in 1990, to create K'Star. "We enjoy mixing up the set list for our own enjoyment and to keep people coming back. My favorite tunes, of which there are many, include 'Oh, Boy,' 'That'll be the Day,' 'Sleep Walk' and 'Da-Doo-Ron-Ron' and some of our Beach Boys tunes. These stand out, because they feature the entire band singing, harmonizing and display the band's varied talents. Sleep Walk is tune with a wonderfully haunting melody that evokes lots of good old members for a lot of us more seasoned music lovers."

Bitkower served as the nonprofit's first board president and remains committed to the organization's mission.

"I was on the original board for several years, then off for several, as new blood, thoughts and ideas are a good thing. I went back on the board about three years ago."

Barron said the nonprofit serves a generally underserved segment of society.

"Emergency shelter is here to help children from birth through 17 years old, who have been abused, abandoned, neglected, physical or sexually abused and most have been removed from their homes by Child Protective Services," Barron said. "Our emergency shelter is also available for youth who have conflict at home and need time for both child and parents to resolve issues through counseling."

K'Star's counseling program, which also is available in 13 other counties, is for children and their families to strengthen the family unit.

"It is available for families with children birth through 17 years. Our counselors look for what is going right in the family and then work with the families to build on those strengthens to resolve family conflict," she said.

The New Buddy Holly Band's Summer Sock Hop, Barron said, "is just a great way to have fun and raise money for an important mission," Barron said. "We encourage everyone to dress in '50s clothing and get into the spirit of the fun."


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Source: Kerrville Daily Times (TX)

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