Keene State College concert to benefit student in recovery from Route 101 crash

  • Samuel Lachance this Saturday with his aunt, Brenda DeBlois, left, and his mother, Jessica Lachance, right. Lachance, who was injured in a car crash in Dublin last month, is now receiving care at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown, Massachusetts. Courtesy of Jessica LaChance

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 2/13/2019 11:20:08 AM

The Keene State College music department plans to host a benefit concert next week for a Keene State freshman, Samuel LaChance, who was critically injured in a car accident last month.

“This is a unique event,” said Sandra Howard, Keene State College Coordinator of Music Education and Choirs. “Our students were talking about a way to help him and his family, so we decided to purpose this concert for him.”

LaChance is currently receiving care at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown, Massachusetts. On Jan. 22 the Jeep he was driving on Route 101 collided with a tractor-trailer as he was traveling on his way back to Keene from his home in Manchester.

The Keene State music department hosts a lunchtime concert at St. Bernard Church in Keene once or twice every semester, Howard said, but this is the first time the concert has ever been used to benefit someone.

The concert will consist of four performance ensembles, including a brass ensemble, chamber singers, concert choir and a vocal consort. According to a member of the concert choir, Marsha Gibson, St. Bernard Church is the ideal location for the event.

“It just has amazing acoustics and also plenty of seating,” Gibson said.

The seating will be helpful for the 50 to 100 people that Howard anticipates will be in attendance. Howard also hopes that the attendees will be a good variety of both Keene State students and staff and Keene community members.

“One of our goals is to blur the lines between campus and the city of Keene,” Howard said. “It’s really designed to touch friends from the community.”

The benefit concert is the music department and the greater college community coming together to help LaChance and show their support of him at this time.

“Even a little something is always a nice gesture,” Gibson said.

Gibson remembers the day that the accident occurred, as she was driving from Peterborough to Keene.

“I was hoping nothing bad had happened. The road was still blocked off a few hours later when I was on my way home,” Gibson said. “When I found out later it was a Keene State student and a freshman, I thought, is there any chance that we could do something for him?”

When it was decided the concert would now be a benefit concert, everyone involved was on board and Keene State President Melinda Treadwell approved the event, Gibson said. Gibson also said that the concert choir has been working towards this performance since the beginning of the semester in January and everyone has been working hard to make sure the event is a good one.

While the concert is still a free event, it is the hope of the department that attendees will contribute a donation that will be used towards any expenses that have accrued for the LaChance’s as a result of the accident.

The concert will be held on Friday, Feb. 22, at 12:15 p.m. at St. Bernard Church in Keene.

Donations can be made in cash or check at the door. Anyone who is not able to attend, but would still like to donate, can contact Howard at showard1@keene.edu.




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