Rock 4 Xmas Charity Concert held in Stafford

By Wally Robinson - ReminderNews
Stafford - posted Thu., Dec. 15, 2011
Emcee Elisa Gianilli of Music Studio 307 introduces Eric Herbst of Dizzy Fish. Photos by Wally Robinson.
Emcee Elisa Gianilli of Music Studio 307 introduces Eric Herbst of Dizzy Fish. Photos by Wally Robinson.

The Sun Valley Resort in Stafford was recently the scene of a special holiday rock concert for the benefit of the local charities: Operation Fuel, Toys for Tots and Foodshare.

The Rock 4 Xmas Foundation is the brainchild of musician Wayne Morrison. For the past 15 years, he has produced holiday rock concerts for charity around the country, featuring some of the biggest names in the music business.

“I’d just come off a successful national tour with Blackfoot back in ’96, and having nothing on for the holidays, I just thought it would be neat to put a show together for charity,” Morrison said. “I got on the horn to friends like Eddie Money, Todd Lundgren and a bunch of others who loved the idea and jumped right in.”

The number of concerts played each year has varied from a high of 15 to a low of two. This year the number is four: New Bedford, Mass., Coran, N.Y., Newport, R.I., and Stafford.

Why Stafford? “I got a call from Elisa Gianilli of Music Studio 307 here in town,” Morrison said. “We get calls from all over, but Elisa had that certain sparkle that made it easy to say yes.”

“I found Rock 4 Xmas on Facebook,” said Gianilli, who acted as co-producer and emcee for the Dec. 2 show.

Among those performing were Joey Molland of Badfinger, AC-DC drummer Simon Wright, Corey Glover of Living Colour, guitarist Jason Jenkins, Eric Herbst of the Connecticut band Dizzy Fish, and Morrison’s own band, The Counterfeiters.

Charities coordinator Karen Michaud said proceeds from admissions and sponsorships would go to Operation Fuel, which provides home heating fuel for those in need over the winter.

“I want to thank our sponsors, First Niagara Bank and the Marriott Hotel in Manchester,” Michaud said. “Thanks also to the patrons who brought in food for Al’s Pantry at Avery Park, and so many toys for Toys for Tots I could barely get them all into my car!”

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