FOCUS on teens: Etowah High senior’s concert to benefit Families of Cherokee United, arts center
by Rebecca Johnston
February 06, 2013 12:07 AM | 3867 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Etowah High School student Devan Gilbert has organized the FOCUS on Music Concert as part of her senior project. The concert will be 7 p.m. at the Elm Street theater at City Center in downtown Woodstock. <br> Special to the Cherokee Tribune
Etowah High School student Devan Gilbert has organized the FOCUS on Music Concert as part of her senior project. The concert will be 7 p.m. at the Elm Street theater at City Center in downtown Woodstock.
Special to the Cherokee Tribune
Garland Kelley
Jordan Grassi
Jordan Grassi
Courtney Dickinson
Courtney Dickinson
Jade Sanders
Jade Sanders
The focus will be on outstanding teen entertainers at a celebrity fundraiser concert Friday night in downtown Woodstock at the Elm Street Cultural Arts Village.

The concert is the senior project of Etowah High School student Devan Gilbert. She decided to give a portion of the proceeds from the concert to Families Of Cherokee United in Service or FOCUS.

The FOCUS on Music Concert kicks off at 7 p.m. with the doors open at 6:30 at the Elm Street theater at City Center at 8534 Main St. in downtown Woodstock.

Gilbert said she wants to raise awareness as well as money to help Cherokee County teens, and 70 percent of ticket sales will go to FOCUS. The other proceeds will benefit Elm Street Cultural Arts Center, she said.

“FOCUS was a foundation that we found. It is teens helping teens, a really good thing for our community,” Gilbert said. “At Etowah, I have had friends who can’t afford to get the GED. Some people don’t have gas to go to school, they drop out, and this helps them get on track. FOCUS offers tutoring and helps them come up with a plan to help them graduate.”

Gilbert’s brother, Garland Kelley — a singer and songwriter — is the headline act for the evening, along with singer, songwriter and actress Jade Sanders.

Miss Georgia USA Outstanding Teen Julia Martin will emcee the event.

The concert includes special guests Jordan Grassi and Courtney Dickinson, who open for Kelley and Sanders.

The performers will be at an “after party” at a local favorite restaurant following the concert where fans will be able to meet the artists, get pictures taken and have playbills autographed.

Kelley is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist. He has been playing and performing since he was young and is always challenging himself on how to grow as a musician and as an individual.

Kelley is recording his debut album and is beginning to record a music video for his first single “The Only Key to My Heart”.

The musician draws his influences from a wide variety of music and has a very open mind and ear. At a very young age, Garland idolized music legends such as The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and many more.

Jade Sanders is a 13-year-old singer/songwriter and was born in Homestead, Fla.

Her family later moved to Ocean Springs, Miss., when she was 5 years old.

She has three music videos with over 50,000 views and 17 original songs recorded.

Grassi, a 15-year-old Creekview High School student, is Georgia Country’s Teen Artist of the Year and familiar to local audiences from performing at Riverfest and the Cherokee Arts Center.

She is the daughter of Kimberly and Rob Grassi of Canton. Jordan, who moved to Canton from Florida three years ago, describes her music as modern country.

“It’s a crossover between Lady Antebellum with a Carrie Underwood musical-feel,” she said.

Dickinson is a high school senior from Acworth who has already clocked up an impressive performing resume, including performing at the age of 12 with Billy Ray Cyrus.

Courtney has become an active partner in the Musician’s On Call Program, and recently was a finalist in Dodge’s Inspired by You contest.

It all started as a toddler, when Dickinson began acting and modeling, finally becoming the youngest member of the Little General Cloggers on the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

By the age of 6, she had the honor of performing at President Jimmy Carter’s birthday celebration. Over the next few years, Dickinson honed in on her talents by studying with the top acting and vocal coaches in Los Angeles and creating an impressive list of appearances for a small town girl from Acworth.

Gilbert said she is excited about the quality of performers and the concert.

“I was originally thinking to do my project to benefit the walk for the Susan B. Koman foundation, but decided to keep it local. Our goal is raise between $1,200 and $2,500,” she said.

Tickets are $10 online and $12 at the door.

“Tweens, teens and moms will enjoy this concert so make it a family affair,” Gilbert said.

To order tickets go to
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, spam, and links to outside websites will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides