Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Songwriters' art supports groups in need

Victoria is a town full of caring individuals. Our hometown is filled with nonprofits dedicated to causes from feeding the hungry to helping the abused, educating residents, counseling families and more.

All of these efforts can change lives, but they all require money, which means charity and fundraising events are common occurrences on Victoria's social calendar. Residents can take part in wine tastings, dinners, themed parties, concerts and more while contributing to a myriad of good causes.

Thursday night, the last of three in a charity concert series will take place in the Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts. At 7:30 p.m., songwriters Aaron Barker and Chris Wallin will perform in the last of three charity concerts benefiting the Victoria Lions Club, Bluebonnet Youth Ranch, Theatre Victoria and the Welder Center, said Claud Jacobs, one of the Bluebonnet founders. Barker and Wallin have written songs for world-famous country music artists such as George Strait and Toby Keith. Barker has also written and performed most of the Blue Bell Ice Cream commercials. Jacobs remembers one charity concert performance when Barker shared a brand new jingle for the ice cream company he made up on his way to Victoria.

"We heard it later being used on TV," Jacobs recalls.

The best part of this performance, Jacobs said, will be hearing from the songwriters about what inspired them to write their award-winning, chart-topping songs. And just like Barker did in a previous year, attendees might get the chance to hear a new song the writers created before it hits the mainstream music scene.

The series is a popular event in the Crossroads, and next year's lineup is already planned, Jacobs said. In January, Pam Tillis, the 1994 Country Music Association award winner for Best Female Vocalist, will perform in Victoria. In May, Gary Morris, who has had 10 No. 1 hits in country music and has performed in the musical "Les Miserables," will come to town. The last concert of the 2014 series will be Eddy Raven, a singer and songwriter who has had more than 35 singles on the charts.

This charity concert series is an exciting event, and we encourage our readers to attend. Tickets are available for $26 through the Welder Center website or by visiting the box office. Come out Thursday night and enjoy some good music and fun stories about how some of the most popular songs in country music came to be. You will experience an enjoyable evening, and your money will be given to help four important parts of the Victoria community.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.