Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation Benefit features songs of Billy Joel at Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts

Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation Benefit features songs of Billy Joel at Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts

Image: Big Shots The Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation holds its Seventh Annual "Evening for the Arts" benefit featuring BIG SHOT - The Ultimate Billy Joel Tribute Band at Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts on Saturday, Sept. 12. The "Evening for the Arts" reception begins at 6 p.m. and includes a silent auction and complimentary wine and light hors d'oeuvres. The music begins at 7:30 p.m. and the witty David Raffauf returns as the Master of Ceremonies to host the Live Auction segment of the evening. Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 at the door.

BIG SHOT's flawless renditions of Joel's musical repertoire, combined with front man Michael Del Guidice's spot-on vocals create a performance that is so close to an actual Billy Joel concert, that Joel, after hearing the band, told the New York Times, "They had a hard time convincing me it wasn't me. It's uncanny."

The band is comprised of five world-class Long Island and NYC musicians, John Scarpulla, Ken Cino, Nick Dimichino, Carmine Giglio, and Mike Sorrentino, whose collective resumes read like a who's who of the music industry. Joining the band for this special event is Richie Cannata, lead saxophonist in the original Billy Joel Band.

Members of Big Shot have performed with artists such as Hall & Oats, Celine Dion, Huey Lewis, Michael Bolton, Tower of Power, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Billy Joel's Broadway Musical Movin' Out, and last summer with Billy Joel at Shea Stadium.

The silent auction includes a wide array of fabulous items to consider when bidding. There is a 7-day vacation at Lake Placid, a weekend stay at a quaint B&B in the New York Catskills, original artwork, jewelry, theater tickets, Hollywood and sports memorabilia as well as baskets filled with all types of goodies.

All proceeds from the auction and the concert go to the Hulley Arts Foundation, which funds annual scholarships, grants and educational programs for artists in the greater New Haven area and Fairfield County. The non-profit organization is dedicated to the educational enrichment and professional development of young artists and provides opportunities in the arts for hundreds of local children, teens and early career adults.

Created in memory of Orange resident, Jamie Alaine Hulley, the Arts Foundation has been especially important to students living in Bethany, Orange and Woodbridge. It has provided four-year college scholarships in studio art and drama for Amity High School students, awarded mini-art grants to Orange-Bethany-Woodbridge schools, sponsored the Amity High School Visiting Artists Series and the annual Amity Film Festival.

In addition, Fairfield University's Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) students are given the opportunity to apply for Foundation grants that enable an annual independent project and an annual Summer Internship Fellowship. The Foundation also sends ten children - five from Bridgeport and five children of Sodexo employees, the University's food service - to the popular Missoula Children's Theater summer camp. It has traditionally supported the annual Musicians Unplugged concert, directed by Brian Torff, VPA director of jazz and popular music. This free concert features a working musician who visits campus to play and discuss his or her journey in the music industry.

The Foundation donated more than $37,000 in grants to K-12 schools in New Haven and Fairfield counties. It sponsors annual art exhibit scholarships for Fairfield County High School students, makes theater summer camp scholarships possible for children living in the greater Bridgeport area, and is the headliner sponsor of North Haven's Quick Change Productions community theater. For more information on the Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation, visit the website at www.jamiehulleyartsfund.org .

For tickets to the seventh annual Hulley Arts Foundation benefit, send a check or money order to Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation, P.O. Box 1208, Orange, CT 06477 or call the Quick Center Box Office, (203) 254-4010. For information, call (203) 891-8869 or e-mail jamieart@snet.net .

Posted On: 08-05-2009 10:08 AM

Volume: 42 Number: 23