(Web site photo)
Barber is an alumnus of Community High School and still has close contacts with the school, which he said makes him aware of the challenges faced by teens today. That led him, and others from various emergency agencies, to organize the R.O.K. (Reaching Our Kids) concert, which will be held 6-9 p.m. Feb. 23 at Calsonic Arena on the Celebration grounds.
A variety of Christian artists, representing different musical styles, will perform, with rock band Seventh Day Slumber as headliners. Students will be admitted free of charge; adult admission is $5.
Barber said the choice of Christian music was made for cost considerations and because it would be clean, positive and uplifting.
Barber said the event is funded by donations and no tax money is being used to support it.
Joseph Rojas, lead singer of Seventh Day Slumber, spoke at Community last March, said Barber, and was well-received. Rojas grew up in an abusive situation, later abusing drugs and serving jail time.
One of the other groups performing, female pop vocal group Unity from Keller, Texas, will make school appearances a few days prior to the concert; one of the members of the group, Morgan Berry, is a survivor of bullying and speaks on the topic to school groups.
"It's more than just a concert," said Barber.
Burning Yesterday, the third group scheduled to perform, has local ties; its drummer, Steven Davenport, is from Bedford County. They will debut their new album at the concert.
Earlier in the day, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., a safety fair will be held inside and (weather permitting) outside the arena, with various emergency agencies displaying vehicles and information for the public. Barber said the safety fair will be for all ages, not just children.
Barber can be reached for more information at 294-5223.