MVRHS principal and friends rock and roll to raise funds.

MVRHS principal and friends rock and roll to raise funds.

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High school principal Steve Nixon. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) principal Steve Nixon, MVRHS drama teacher Kate Murray, and special guests will perform in a rock and roll concert next Thursday evening, Jan. 26, at Katharine Cornell Theatre at 7 pm.

The concert is to “help keep alive the memory of David Brand and to benefit the David Brand Scholarship Fund,” Mr. Nixon said. David Brand died at age 39 after a brief illness in 2008, having taught earth sciences at MVRHS for one year.

The concert’s special guests include well-known Island musicians Michael Tinus on bass, Charlie Esposito on keyboards, and a group of high school students playing backup instruments. This is the fourth annual concert.

“About 50 percent of the concert will be original tunes,” Mr. Nixon said. Formerly a member of a New Jersey based rock group called Night Wing that played mostly in the New York City, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania area, Mr. Nixon, 56, wrote and performed music for many years before “changing careers and going into education.” He has been playing guitar and piano for most of his life and still has a recording studio at home where he continues to write songs.

Kate Murray, an actress and singer as well as a drama instructor, is known for her soulful ballads and electrifying stage presence.

According to an obituary that ran in the MV Times, David Brand was a former resident of Wellesley. He graduated from Wellesley High School in 1987, received a BA in Environmental Conservation from the University of Colorado, and a Master’s degree in Human Geography with a focus on permaculture from the University of Massachusetts.

After graduation, Mr. Brand pursued his desire to help those in need and joined the Peace Corps, where he taught young children in Uruguay, followed by a year of teaching in Guatemala City.

He was most proud of his experience as a logistician with Doctors Without Borders. In this capacity, he spent several years on assignments in Kenya, Africa, Georgia, Russia, Mexico, and Barcelona. This work focused on displacement of refugee populations and malnutrition. His extensive travels through India, Burma, Central and South America fostered a deep compassion for humankind.

Benefit Concert: Steve Nixon and Kate Murray with special guests, 7 pm, Thursday, Jan. 26, Katharine Cornell Theatre, Vineyard Haven. $10; $7 seniors and students.