Trevor Luciani is trying to raise $2,500 this year with his annual Holiday Benefit Concert, and he's happy to report that he's more than halfway there already.
"Our concert hasn't happened yet and we've already raised $1,500," said Luciani, a senior at Schenectady High who is hosting his second Holiday Benefit Concert tonight (Thursday) at 6:30 at the Black Box Theater at Schenectady High School. "So, while our goal is $2,500, we're expecting to go over that."
The recipients of Luciani's efforts will once again be 10 families with children at Van Corlaer Elementary School in Schenectady.
"I went to Van Corlaer for seven years and I also worked there for a year," said Luciani, who hopes to attend George Mason University next year and major in political science. "So, it's a humbling feeling to be able to do something for the kids that go there."
Students from Van Corlaer Elementary will not only benefit from tonight's event; they will also perform in it. The Van Corlaer Kids Choir will perform the songs, "In the Spirit," "Let it Snow," and "There will be Peace." The choir is made up of around 30 students grades three though five at Van Corlaer.
Music will be provided by Luciani's band, which also includes Shannon Carroll (vocals), Savanna McGrath (vocals), Dan Burnham (guitar) and Sam Gaige (Drums). Other musicians include Kimberly Deonarine (vocals), Matt Daley (bass guitar) and Rocco Gigante (drums).
The Sydney McGrath Comedy Act will return from last year's event, while a new feature will be the reading of three poems by members of "The Voices of Schenectady."
"It's a group of high school kids from Schenectady that will read some positive literature," said Luciani, explaining "The Voices of Schenectady." "It's based upon the positive things that have happened in their life. It should be very interesting."
Luciani's work last year producing his first Holiday Benefit Concert earned him the 2017 Youth of the Year Award from the Schenectady Boys and Girls Clubs.
"I won the Schenectady award and finished second in the statewide competition," said Luciani. "I had to speak at five or six different events put on by the Boys and Girls Clubs. I got about a month or two left, but I enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun."
Helping Luciani put together tonight's event was fellow student Nadia Persaud and Vincent Darrigo, a teacher in the Schenectady school district. Tickets are $5.