Lakewood senior plans concerts to benefit cancer victims

It’s his love of music that inspired Lakewood High School senior Josh Smith to plan two benefit concerts for his senior project.

The first of the two concerts starts at 6:30 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 5, at the Marysville-Pilchuck High School. Proceeds from the $10 admission will go to the Marysville-based Jerry Jacobs Foundation for treating cancer patients who require stem cell transplants.

“Jerry is my good friend,” Smith said. “He is a member of my church and he does a lot for kids. He had a stem cell transplant a few years ago and it didn’t work, so he has to do it again.”

An aspiring musician himself, Smith and his band with no name will open the concert playing some original songs and cover tunes.

Smith’s band includes Doug Standish on guitar, Max Tanner on keyboards, and Greg Pote, on drums. Pote is a member of the church who is filling in for this concert.

“I don’t know if we’ll have a bass player or not,” Smith said.

His music is inspired by his favorite band, Third Day, and they will do covers of The Fray and John Forman, among others.

Smith explained that Jacobs was first diagnosed several years ago and his church, the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Marysville, held an auction and raised so much money that Jacobs decided to establish a foundation to help other cancer victims.

“The foundation is dedicated to helping transplant patients,” Smith said.

The first concert features a nationally acclaimed Christian singer/songwriter, guitarist and worship leader, David Harsh, who has won national and regional competitions for his songwriting. According to his Web site, his Christian lyrics are a testimony of his journey, capturing in music a vivid description of how God has worked in his life. Known for his creative excellence, Harsh often breaks the mold with songs like “Four Limbs” where he plays two guitars at once, one with his hands and one with his feet, and “Receive Me” where he uses looping technology to stack and layer sound, literally creating a one-man band. He has been influenced by John Mayer, James Taylor, Alex De Grassi and many other well-known musicians.

Along with this benefit concert, Harsh is also scheduled to perform at Smokey Point Community Church, Nov. 8 and 9, at the First Baptist Church of Arlington, Dec. 8, and at The Lights of Christmas, Dec. 26.

Smith, who sings with both the concert choir and the jazz choir at his school, has several original songs that he and Tanner have composed together.

“Max is my best friend. The best of the original songs, we did together,” Smith said.

Smith is working on another concert featuring the band, Remedy Drive, for later in October, but the details are not yet confirmed.

“Remedy Drive is even bigger than David Harsh,” Smith said.

Smith’s mentor on the project, Ryan Brown is the director of youth and family ministry at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. He said that Smith is a real go-getter.

“He wants to get the job done right,” Brown said. “He’s been really flexible working with bands and in making do with what we have. He has a real passion for raising money for this cause.”

Brown admits he is not a musician but he has confidence in Smith’s ear for music.

“I trust him and what he’s doing,” Brown said.

All the proceeds from the $10 ticket sales and free-will offerings at both concerts will go to the foundation.

Meanwhile, Smith is logging all the time he is spending on the project and will report on its success to a panel come spring to get the credits he needs to graduate. He plans to study music at Pacific Lutheran University.

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