The popular, local bluegrass group, Open Rail, will headline a traditional bluegrass and Christmas favorites concert to benefit the Gallia Academy High School Vocal Music program on Saturday. According to Boosters Vice President Karen Terry, she approached Open Rail member John Cardwell about the possibility of the group performing in a fundraiser concert.

“I just asked him and he said yes, that was something they would be willing to do,” said Terry.

The Gallia Academy Madrigals will perform prior to Open Rail taking the stage, an opportunity Terry said was an added bonus for the students.

“We have a lot of talent in our school and in our community,” said Terry.

Terry said, performing with Open Rail, who has gained recognition regionally, gives students an opportunity to be seen and heard.

“I think it’s a good opportunity for some of the kids to get their names out there or even just have the experience of [performing] with a professional,” said Terry.

According to Open Rail member Brian Ison, the group performs limited benefit concerts when they are able as a way of giving back. Any time the group can focus on school music programs to develop kids, Ison said the group is happy to be a part.

“We’re excited to do this,” said Ison. “Hopefully we’ll pack the [auditorium] and have a good time.”

Gallia Academy Vocal Music Director Nattalie Phillips said the vocal music program has started to transition their fundraising efforts, which help purchase new equipment, uniforms and fund other needs, to be centered more around family experiences and less about the dollar amount raised.

“The Gallia Academy Vocal Music Department is honored to be hosting Open Rail and so humbled that they would choose to help us in such a way as this. In this season, as well as in every season of life, there is nothing more important than the connection between people, which is truly what music is all about,” said Phillips. “We hope our community will see events such as this as an opportunity to connect with family and friends while supporting a great cause. Words cannot truly express how grateful we are for the continued support of our community as we strive to offer quality musical experiences to our students and make our world a little brighter along the way by sharing our talents.”

The concert takes place on Saturday, December 2 in the Gallia Academy High School Auditorium, 2855 Centenary Road, Gallipolis. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the concert starts at 6 p.m. Admission is $10.

To learn more about Open Rail, visit them at

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