Inspired by the work being done at the DuBard School for Language Disorders, local musician Jesse Howell decided to put his band’s talents to fund-raising use.
What began as a budding idea has grown into a full-fledged “Dancing for DuBard” concert set for Friday, Oct. 2 at the Bottling Company in downtown Hattiesburg. Howell’s Cowboy Blues Band will perform, along with fellow Pine Belt artists Travis Clark and Ashley Barding. All proceeds from the $10 admission tickets will go to the DuBard School.
“Every single dime collected at the door will go to the school,” said Howell, lead singer for the Cowboy Blues Band. “It is my hope that we raise at least $1,000 on that night but we’re shooting for a lot more.”
The evening’s festivities begin at 8 p.m. when Clark takes the stage. Barding is scheduled to perform around 9:30 p.m. with the Cowboy Blues Band taking over from 10 p.m. to midnight.
The DuBard School was established in 1962 and serves as a clinical division of the Southern Miss Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences. The school assists children with severe language/speech disorders and/or hearing impairments and provides guidance and counseling for parents and families of the children.
“The generosity of the Cowboy Blues Band, The Bottling Company and the other artists will allow us to better serve children with language, speech and hearing disorders,” said Dr. Maureen Martin, DuBard School director. “Since DuBard School for Language Disorders relies heavily on private donations to operate, we need everyone in our community to help us give the gift of language.”
Howell, a 1999 Southern Miss graduate, also holds down a full-time job as a vocational evaluator for the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services. He witnesses the benefits from programs like the DuBard School on a daily basis.
“We hear all the time about a university’s athletic programs and other academic successes but there’s a lot of other great humanitarian work going on behind the scenes,” said Howell. “The DuBard School is a prime example of that.
“This area has been so great to our band that we wanted to give back to the community in some way. Helping out the DuBard School seemed like the perfect choice.”
The Cowboy Blues Band also features bass player Paul Walter; drummer Johnny Glover; Brad Miller on lead and slide guitar and Al “Fish” Herring on keyboards and horns. Howell describes the group he formed in 2005 as “a dance band with a little bit of soul.”
“We have really eclectic tastes. You’ll hear everything from ZZ Top to George Stait and a lot in-between” said Howell.
For ticket information call The Bottling Company at 601-450-2653. To learn more about the DuBard School call 601-266-5223 or visit www.usm.edu/dubard/index.html
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.