Rare show to benefit Opera House

FAIRMONT — Sweet Financial Services is sponsoring a unique opportunity to hear three of country music’s top songwriters perform and tell the stories behind their music, and how their work eventually connected with top recording stars.

Billed as “One Night in Nashville,” the Nov. 18 show at the Fairmont Opera House features Josh Kear and the Warren Brothers (Brad and Brett) and offers an extra benefit. All of the tax-deductible ticket proceeds will benefit the Opera House.

Josh Kear, the only songwriter to have won Grammys for “song of the year” three times, penned such hits as “Before He Cheats” and “Blown Away” for Carrie Underwood, “Need You Now” for Lady Antebellum and “Neon Light” for Blake Shelton.

The Warren Brothers contributions to country music include “Lights Come On” for Jason Aldean, “The Highway Don’t Care” and “Felt Good on My Lips” for Tim McGraw, and “Feel That Fire” for Dierks Bentley.

While many artists arrange a regional tour of concerts, these songwriters are flying in for the Fairmont performance only.

Brittany Anderson, director of operations at Sweet Financial, shared the story of how this rare event in Fairmont came to be.

Bryan Sweet, who founded his Fairmont company 30 years ago, attended a Raymond James Financial conference in Nashville in April 2016. As part of the conference entertainment, Sweet enjoyed performances by these songwriters.

“When Bryan heard them, he thought, ‘We’ve got to get this performance in Fairmont,'” Anderson said.

However, the program is not available on tour, in Nashville or anywhere else.

“You have to have a connection who can get this facilitated,” Anderson said. “This (show) just started after that Raymond James conference.”

The Sweet Financial team began working about a year ago to bring the show to Fairmont. With the Fairmont Opera House recently launching a $10 million campaign for renovation and expansion, the team chose the historic venue as the site for the concert and also to benefit from its proceeds.

Each year, Sweet Financial holds a holiday open house at which its clients vote on their favorite charities. Two are selected to benefit from the firm’s charitable giving program. Previous recipients include Martin County Beyond the Yellow Ribbon and the Martin County Area Foundation. This year, it will be the Opera House.

“We thought it would be cool to do something that is just one focused event and one drive,” Anderson said. “Plus, there’s already so many people in the community that donate to the Opera House. Why not get something great for it?

“It’s a dual win for us. Not only are we able to bring a really cool performance in, but Bryan is very passionate about the Opera House, about helping support it. That’s why 100 percent of the ticket sales go to benefit the Opera House. We, as a company, won’t make anything off of it.”

Doors open at 6 p.m. the night of the concert, with the performances starting at 7 p.m. A minimum donation of $50 per seat is requested, and a limited number of special packages are available for those who want an enhanced experience.

“We have arranged three different package options for $500, $1,000 or $2,500, and there’s a limited number available for each option,” Anderson said. “You can be admitted early for the sound check, get signed memorabilia, a private dinner with the songwriters or an after-party with them, depending on the amount spent. For all the package-holders, we have seats sectioned off in the center for prime seating.”

Currently, tickets are available only to Sweet Financial clients, but sales to the general public will be available starting Monday. People can call the company at (507) 235-5587 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. More information is available on a special website, www.onenightinnashville.org

“We’re really excited about this. The storytelling part is going to be so unique,” Anderson said. “Our goal is $50,000, and our hope is to fill the Opera House. We want to sell out.”


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