Live United in Music


An event that shouldn’t be missed — Live United in Music II, featuring The Music of Sir Elton John, will be held at the Community Arts Center on April 19. Presented by UPMC, the concert will benefit the Lycoming County United Way. This is the second benefit concert in the region that will star Grammy-nominated artist Michael Cavanaugh. The signature event began back in 2019, when Cavanaugh starred in a Billy Joel tribute concert. The event was a hit, selling nearly 900 tickets. “Michael Cavanaugh was hand-picked by the Piano Man, Billy Joel himself, to star in the smash Broadway hit Movin’ Out, which was nominated for both Grammy and Tony Awards,” according to a press release from the Lycoming County United Way. Due to COVID, Live United in Music II was pushed back until April 2022, as Lycoming County United Way gears up to celebrate their 100th year anniversary. “The signature event is part of a yearlong 100th year anniversary celebration for the local United Way which was founded as the Williamsport Welfare Corporation in April 1922,” stated in a press release. Alongside Cavanaugh, there will also be several local musicians performing at the event including Jessica DeShong, Mallory Scoppa Gardner, Zavon Braggs and Jason Hurwitz. Jessica DeShong, alumna of Williamsport Area High School, is a Grammy Nominated Musician and actress. She now lives in Los Angeles, California. Mallory Scoppa Gardner, a Williamsport native, is an artist, musician and educator. She performs with various groups and teaches art and music in the community. Zavon Braggs is a life-long musician from southwest Georgia. After performing music in his church from the age of 15, Braggs became the lead singer for a local Williamsport band called Fresh Out the Box.” Recently, Braggs has returned to his roots in Christian music, serving as a worship leader for several churches. Jason Hurwitz is a former member of the Williamsport Area High Schools’ Strolling Strings. He continues to make music, primarily as the founder and lead violinist of Williamsport Wedding Music. The show will also once again feature Live United Pops Orchestra, conducted by Walt Straiton. A Harrisburg Native, Straiton first came to Williamsport in 1977. He had a 26-year career serving as Director of Orchestras at Williamsport Area High School. He recently accepted the position as Director of Academic and Institutional Partnerships with MusicFirst, a New York/ London-based developer supporting music education. Robert Byham, a Williamsport local, is serving as the special music arranger for the event. “The United Way believes that the arts are important to the overall fabric of the community,” said Ronald Frick, President of the Lycoming County United Way. “It’s a community event to support a nonprofit that’s been in the community for 100 years. We want the community to come out — it’s post-COVID. It’s the cheapest way to see out and Elton John,” said Frick. Mark your calendars now for Tuesday, April 19 at the Community Arts Center in Downtown Williamsport. For tickets, visit https:// www.caclive.com/events/liveunited/ or call 570-326-2424. Limited seats are available and there are no holds. All proceeds will benefit the Lycoming County United Way and the 38 human service programs the organization and its community partners support.


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