Show of Support: Whalen and the Willows hosting fundraising concert for Riverland scholarship fund

Published 7:01 am Sunday, June 10, 2018

Whalen and Willows will be back in Austin when it performs at the Frank W. Bridges Theatre at Riverland Community College on June 18 and its all for a good cause.

In years past, Riverland Community College has performed a fundraising show to raise money for the arts and music students at Riverland.

This year’s show couldn’t be held, so Joshua Whalen, along with his band Whalen and the Willows, are stepping in to pick things up.

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The timing worked well.

“The college usually has a scholarship fundraiser,” Whalen said. “They weren’t going to be able to have this one this summer and Whalen and the Willows were due to play again.”

The ability to step in and try to raise this money is especially close as a couple of the members benefitted in the past from this very same scholarship and all the members except drummer Craig Rosell, are graduates of Riverland.

“This is a cool way to give back and we wanted to play in town anyway,” Whalen said.

And like anybody else who has gone through the college experience, Whalen and the band understands what it’s like to struggle through sometimes.

“I remember being in college,” Whalen said. “It’s so hard and it’s expensive. It’s a great way for an artist to get help and money for school.”

Currently, the effort has $800 in sponsorship money and Whalen is hoping to add between $2,500 and $3,000, which would fund more than five scholarships.

And if everything goes well, Whalen is interested in helping in the future should it continue, even if the band isn’t involved.

“It could be the same scholarship fundraiser and different bands,” Whalen said. “If it goes well and it raises money I would be interested in being involved every year.”

The band itself is still rolling forward with it’s own plans. It’s currently working on a new album. Along the way it has released one song and video off this new album.

“Live,” is a lolling melody with lyrics reflecting a man who is concerned about how the world struggles around him.

A second song and video is expected to drop in the next couple months.

“We’re working on the record and releasing songs to work up momentum,” Whalen said. “This is a whole lot different. It’s like we’ve upped our games and it’s been received really well.

Tickets for the June 18 show are $15 and can be purchased through Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the show will start at 7 p.m. with The Frequency band and Rush Hour before Whalen and the Willows take the stage.