The Kent Stage does a great job of giving music afficiandos a lot of a little something different. Like Kent itself, the Kent Stage doesn’t fall into any nice neat categories — it’s music outside the lines — which is exactly why it’s so popular.
The Kent Stage is an iconic part of Kent — it’s become a gathering place for the youth of all ages that want to experience artistic expression in its natural habitat, outside the bright lights and big city. In an era dominated by glammed, glittered and packaged stage acts, the Stage is an old school throwback — it’s a venue that is intimate and authentic. It’s the musical equivalent of home cooking at the holidays.
The Stage has carved out an extra special niche for matters that touch the Kent community. The Stage opens it’s doors not only to the professionals, but also to local acts that dreamed of being on stage, or community groups that need a gathering hall for talking important Kent business. The Stage is a second home to Kent acolytes and I was reminded of this role when I received word that the Stage is hosting a cancer fund raiser benefit concert this Wednesday, November 24th beginning at 7 pm.
It’s a great example of how the Kent Stage fills a local need, mixing music — some fine home brewed hops beverage — to tell a story — and you’re invited to join them. See the details below:
Music and Rare Beer on Tap at Kent Stage
Event is a Labor of Love to Support Cancer Research
For Immediate Release Contact: Jennifer Hermann
A special night of live music and the opportunity to taste a rare beer will be on tap Wednesday, Nov. 24 at the Kent Stage. The Hopsichord Concert for Cancer Research is a fund-raiser to support cancer research. The event is a labor of love orchestrated by Jennifer Hermann, an avid home brewer in Kent, but was the brainchild of her niece, Shaelynn, who watched her beloved grandfather battle brain cancer.
According to Hermann, “Two years ago, my 10-year-old niece, Shaelynn, saw my father, Dr. Kenn Hermann, battling brain cancer and asked me if I would help her organize a fundraiser for brain cancer research. I told her, ‘Grandpa needs us right now, but someday we will.’” A year after Dr. Hermann succumbed to Stage IV brain cancer, the fund-raising event is about to become a reality.
Four popular Kent-based bands – the TwistOffs, Xtra Crispy, Root Doctor’s Revenge and the Kent African Drum Community – have donated their time and talents for the concert and beer-tasting event. Its primary intent, Hermann says, is “to honor loved ones lost to cancer; support those currently battling the disease; recognize the family and friends they left behind; and remind us all that cancer will never trump love.”
All admission and Hopsichord sales will benefit the Cancer Research Foundation. Tickets are $10 and are available online at www.kentstage.org and at Woodsy’s Music and Spin-More Records in downtown Kent. The Kent Stage is located at 175 E. Main St. in downtown Kent.
Hermann’s father, Kenn Hermann, a historian who taught at Kent State University and Akron University, was diagnosed with Stage IV brain cancer (the same kind of brain cancer that attacked Se, Ted Kennedy) in June 2008 and died 16 months later. “My family and friends had the same reaction that anybody does when something evil invades their life: ‘This is something that happens to other people. It’s not supposed to happen to us.’” Her family, including her mother, Linda Hermann, of Kent, and sister, Michelle Hilliard, and niece, Shaelynn, of Stow, banded together as the disease took its course. The fund-raiser, Hermann says, “is about believing in something worthwhile. It’s about passion, hope and love. Without the persistence of my niece and a fortunate happenstance, I don’t know if I would have been able to come up with this idea on my own.”
That “fortunate happenstance” was winning a trip to “Beer Camp,” an event hosted by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Chico, Calif. Last September, Hermann was one of 10 winners who received rock-star treatment and tour of the company’s brewing facility, including the opportunity to develop a recipe to be brewed on their 10 bbl pilot system. As part of her prize, the company shipped an allocation of the resulting specialty brew to Ohio for Hermann’s use. “We brewed an Imperial IPA that we named Hopsichord, a play on words describing both the plethora of hops used in the brew and the number of music lovers in our beer camp,” Hermann explained. “I thought I could hoard the beer for myself, but kept thinking about my niece and her idea to do a fundraiser,” she added. “It dawned on me that tapping this beer would be a terrific draw for a fund-raising event, and that if we added live music, we could have an incredible benefit concert.”