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Local bands unite for concert benefiting Kingwood HS music … – Chron.com

Published 3:07 pm, Thursday, January 11, 2018

Kingwood resident Shari Krienke is heading up a benefit concert for Kingwood High School music departments to help replace what was lost when the school flooded during Hurricane Harvey.

Krienke has a deep connection to music as her son and her daughter-in-law have devoted much of their lives to it.

Their band, Jay and the Nightingale, has performed at well-attended events, including Super Bowl Live at Discovery Green. Their passion has given Krienke a first-hand look at the importance of music to the lives of others.

Krienke’s connection to music is part of what inspired her and a friend to follow the sound of a piano while walking through their flooded neighborhood in October.

“We walked toward the piano music and it was a high school student that was waiting for the bus,” she said. “He was playing his baby grand piano that was at the end of his driveway that was going to be picked up along with all the other debris from his home. It just touched my heart since all the devastation, so I asked if I could record it and we posted it to Facebook.”

The post garnered interest from local news outlets, including the Observer Newspapers, which covered the story in October.

The driveway pianist was Kingwood High School student and local musician Eric Torres, who is also a member of a band – Lives of Nick.

Just as Krienke was moved by Torres’ loss of a beloved instrument, her heartbreak continued for students of the Kingwood High School music departments who also suffered the loss of their instruments and equipment when the school flooded during Hurricane Harvey.

“They lost all of all of their equipment,” Krienke said. “All the school-owned instruments and the choir department lost all of their uniforms.”

She felt compelled to do something to help, and then an idea occurred to her – combine the talents of the two bands and host a benefit concert.

“I asked my son and daughter-in-law if they’d be interested in maybe putting together something with this other band and they said yes,” Krienke said. “So I approached Eric and he said, ‘Oh, my goodness, yes, we would love it.”

She pitched the idea to the Kingwood H-E-B, which will be celebrating its re-opening on Jan. 19 after a five-month closure due to flood damage from Hurricane Harvey.

“Once she said the key words, ‘Kingwood High School,’ I knew we had to find a way to make this happen,” said Tony Klaus, unit director for the Kingwood H-E-B. “For us, it’s an opportunity to help them because we understand what it feels like to be wiped out. They were wiped out and you can only get so much of that back. There’s not the funding they need to get all the equipment back, so we’re helping how we can.”

The concert will occur in the Kingwood H-E-B parking lot on Saturday, Jan. 20, at 12 p.m.

Lives of Nick and Jay and the Nightingale will unveil their new original song, “Build it Back Again,” which is directly inspired by the Kingwood community’s experiences during Harvey.

“They’re going to go onstage and perform their collaborative song together. Then, I’ll have them each do a 20-minute session, and in between their 20-minute session, they’re going to do the “Build it Back” song,” Krienke said.

Krienke may possibly recruit some other Kingwood area school music groups to perform, although none have been confirmed yet. Klaus hopes the benefit concert is as successful as possible, and gave Krienke approval for the concert to last as long as necessary. Donations from the concert will go to the Kingwood High School music deparmtents.

Jerri Monbaron, executive director of the Humble ISD Education Foundation and director of community development for Humble ISD, expressed gratitude on behalf of the district.

“Humble ISD Education Foundation is grateful to Shari Krienke and to H-E-B Kingwood for providing this benefit concert,” Monbaron said. “The funds received will support the Kingwood High School Fine Arts Department in replacing items damaged from Hurricane Harvey. Just as our community is looking forward to celebrating the re-opening of HEB, we also look forward to celebrate the re-opening of Kingwood High School on March 19.”

Both Klaus and Krienke see the benefit concert not only as a way to help the music department, but also as an opportunity to celebrate unity within the community – a concept “Build it Back Again” reflects through its lyrics: “Home sweet home is where I roam. Sink or swim we’ll get through it. Through the storm, we stand as one.”

Kingwood H-E-B is at 4517 Kingwood Drive.

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