Benefit concert should be memorable event

Rob Foster wanted to find a way to honor his father’s memory by fighting against the disease that stripped his father of his.

 The Augusta University music professor lost his father, Col. Herman Foster, in 2015, and the Musical Memories for Alzheimer’s concerts were born in 2017. Loaded with names from Augusta’s talented musical scene, the next concert is scheduled for June 12.

“I wanted to constructively help other people dealing with Alzheimer’s with a loved one,” said Foster.

Members of the BrownsTown Gritty with the SoulTown Horns in an April 24, 2023 concert. Francie Klopotic/Augusta Good News

The idea came out of a national campaign the Alzheimer’s Association does each year. On June 21, the summer solstice or the longest day of the year, the association encourages people to “turn your passion into purpose” and create a fundraiser, according to the Alzheimer’s website.

Over the years, Foster’s musical concert has had several iterations including a livestream during the pandemic.

 The June 12 concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Augusta University’s Grover C. Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre with donations being accepted at the door.

The lineup includes The SoulTown Horns with Foster on saxophone and flute, Fabio Mann on trumpet and Steve Pruitt on trombone; and The BrownsTown Gritty with TJ Barnes on piano and keyboard, Travis Shaw on bass, Christian Thornton on drums and Kyle Bryant on guitar.

This concert will bring in more vocalists than before, Foster said. Other special guest performers include vocalists Russell Joel Brown, ChaVonne Campbell, Bill Karp. Mandy Sherrow and Diana Thompson-Brewer, vocalist and guitarist Tom Reed, as well as trombonist Wycliffe Gordon and The Garden City Bones, The Augusta VA Guitar Ensemble and Dr. Rob’s Tai Chi Class at the Wilson Y.

Members of the Augusta VA Guitar Ensemble at the 2022 concert. Courtesy photo

“This is a way for people to enjoy a great concert and to see the level of musical talent in this community,” he said.

Nancy Karp will speak on caring for a loved one.

“It doesn’t really have a musical theme,” Foster said of the program.

The selections will include such as George and Ira Gershwin’s They Can’t Take that Away from Me, Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller’s Hound Dog and A Man Could Go Quite Mad from the musical, The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

The evening will end with the musicians playing a rendition of What a Wonderful World, a favorite song of Foster’s father.

“I was playing it for my dad when he passed away,” he said.

The concerts have brought in more than $25,000 for Alzheimer’s research and awareness. Donations can also be made at the Alzheimer’s website,

Charmain Z. Brackett, the publisher of Augusta Good News, has covered Augusta’s news for 35 years. Reach her at Sign up for the newsletter here.

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