Animal-themed concert set to raise the roof and money

Oct 31 • Arts, Feature StoryNo Comments on Animal-themed concert set to raise the roof and money

Devon Hansen, director of music at St. Andrew’s Church, is the organizer behind The Lion Sings Tonight benefit concert this Friday for the Friends of the New Animal Shelter at the Capitol Theatre. Hansen, a self-professed dog lover, is pictured with his 10-lb. Bichon named Oscar.

What better way to raise money for the Friends of the New Animal Shelter than to have a fun, animal-themed musical benefit?

The Lion Sings Tonight benefit concert Friday at the Chatham Capitol Theatre will be a mixture of animal-themed songs performed by area bands and soloists, comic sketches and guest appearances by special animal friends, according to event organizer Devon Hansen. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.

Hansen, director of music at St. Andrew’s Church in Chatham, came up with the idea for the concert, organizing the talent and challenging them to perform an animal-themed song.

“I approached Lynn McGeachy Schultz (project co-ordinator for the new facility) about doing the benefit concert, similar to the concerts we do here (at St. Andrew’s Church),” Hansen said. “Everything is animal-themed. We have songs about penguins, dinosaurs, Lion King, Pink Panther, Cruella DeVille, Blackbird and of course, the Lion Sleeps Tonight.

“It’s really fun for the performers. I gave them free rein and some of them chose a style they have never done before. I think a lot of people learned new stuff.”

The concert will flow from one performance to the next, Hansen said, with Chris McLeod from local radio acting as the MC for the evening. Hansen said the audience will learn things about the animal shelter and the programs it offers in the community, such as therapy visits to area nursing homes.

“We will also be showcasing animals throughout the night and we’re hoping to have a miniature pony as well,” he said. “Theatre Kent is also involved and will be doing some animal-themed sketch comedy.”

Hansen said he tried to pick as much Chatham talent as possible and the people asked were quick to say yes. Performers will include Megan Nuttall, the Chatham Concert Band, CKSS band, the CK Singers and some other familiar Chatham faces.

Hansen himself will also be performing, accompanying several of the soloists.

Tickets for the event are $25 plus handling fee and are available through the theatre box office at 519-354-8338 or online at

McGeachy Schultz said the fundraising effort has reached the $1.25-million mark of the $1.5 million needed to build the new shelter, which is being built adjacent to the current facility on Park Avenue in Chatham.

This little cat awaits a new home at the animal shelter on Park Avenue. Meanwhile, staff and supporters wait for a new home as well, as the shelter has outgrown the aging building.



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