Musician Kent Brooks will be the featured performer of the third Close to Home concert series event at the Clark State Performing Arts Center (PAC) on Wednesday, August 5.
The Close to Home summer concert series events are held outside the lobby doors of the PAC, 300 South Fountain Avenue in downtown Springfield. All featured talent are local performers.
“This is to help fill voids in the community where all of the traditional music and entertainment has been canceled,” said Adele Adkins. “People can come out with their family, their friends, their coworkers and enjoy music on a beautiful Wednesday night.”
Brooks, a former music educator with Dayton Public Schools and Clark State's Project Jericho program, has enjoyed a 43-year career in music performance and education that has covered various genres.
Brooks currently serves as the director of music and worship for High Street United Methodist Church in Springfield, conducts The IMANI Gospel Choir and teaches voice at Wittenberg University. He is the recipient of many awards and his works as a performer, arranger and composer have crossed multiple genres.
“Kent Brooks is a wonderful performer who engages everyone who is lucky enough to hear him play and sing,” said Adele Adkins, executive director of the PAC. “He performs so many different types of music from Christian to jazz to Broadway. He does it all beautifully!”
He began as a 10-year old singing and playing piano in church in tiny Oxford, North Carolina, where his mother and brother - also church musicians - were his first inspirations.
As a young music student at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he met and performed with his most influential mentor, Grammy award winning gospel artist, Richard Smallwood.
Brooks’s career has included opening for the Special Olympics World Games, serving as choirmaster for four of the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra's special performances and composing a theme for the Raleigh-Durham area's first Black Church's Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS titled "Heal The Land".
Brooks has enjoyed being a resident of Springfield for 10 years. Through his upcoming performance on August 5, he hopes to remind people of their enduring sense of community in the midst of challenging times. “There will be something for everyone,” he said. “Including jazz, tin pan alley, standards, gospel, classical and contemporary adult.”
The Close to Home concert featuring Kent Brooks will begin at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, August 5. Rudy’s Smokehouse food truck will be on site and a full-service bar will be available. No tickets are required for the Close to Home concert events. Facial coverings are required to attend.