WILTON, Conn. -- Over 30 musicians from Wilton plan to hit the stage soon for a huge concert that will help put food on the plates of needy people in the town and beyond.
The second annual Wilton Rocks for Food, a fundraiser benefitting the Wilton Food Pantry and the Connecticut Food Bank, will take place Dec. 3 at Trackside Teen Center, 15 Station Road, Wilton. Doors open at 8 p.m.
WiIton Rocks for Food is a live music concert party with over 30 musicians -- all of whom live in Wilton, said Wilton resident Andy Schlesinger, co-founder and organizer of the event.
A total of 45 songs will be performed in the three-hour show. Songs will be a combination of rock and pop.
“There will be classic rock and the kind of music people grew up with -- groups like Stevie Wonder, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., Pearl Jam, Queen, The Pretenders, Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, Journey, Black Crows, Pat Benatar and everything in between,” said Schlesinger, who will also perform in the concert.
“Only Wilton musicians are able to participate in this event,” he said, adding he found musicians through Facebook and word of mouth. “We want people to see how much talent there is right here in our town."
All of the proceeds from the event -- including the silent auction, private donations, ticket sales -- will go to the two charities.
Over 20 local businesses are participating in the silent auction. Food will include pizza and hors d'oeuvres, and there will be an open bar.
“It will truly be the absolute party of the year in Wilton,” he said. The music will “get people up and dancing.”
Schlesinger, who works full-time in the finance field, has been playing guitar his entire life and is a former professional musician. “Music has been a lifelong serious passion of mine.” He performs in a local band called Big Deal.
He is organizing this event as a way to pay it forward. “Although we live in this incredibly wealthy area, there are so many people right in this town who can’t afford to eat, and we need to do something about it."
Last year’s inaugural concert attracted 200 people and raised $26,000. He hopes to raise $40,000 this year.
Band members have been rehearsing several nights a week in the studio at Schlesinger's house.
“We get people in the community spirit,” he said. “"Wilton Rocks for Food is about being something that we own, that’s ours.'
According to Schlesinger, 70 families regularly use the Wilton Food Pantry and the Connecticut Food Bank helps 300,000 people each year.