By Bryan McKenzie
If Coran Capshaw knows what’s best, he’ll negotiate an agreement with Lily Garay before she graduates high school.
Mr. Capshaw’s successful ventures into venues, and management of a variety of musical acts, has changed not only Central Virginia’s entertainment landscape but has had impact across the country.
Ms. Garay is a singer of pop music, but says her take on the genre is a far cry from Miley Cyrus and her naughty dancing teddy bears. Besides performing and writing music, she’s organizing shows for herself and others.
“I’m a singer and I’m always looking for gigs and I thought if I’m looking for gigs, other artists must be, too,” she said. “I thought, why not put together a concert so local musicians can be discovered?”
On Sunday, Ms. Garay, 17, will present her third annual concert showcasing locals and raising money for the Bolivia Life Center, an orphanage in Cochabamba. The Life & Love Benefit Concert will go down at AHS with doors opening at 6:45 p.m.
No Fella Acapella and the Minutemen a capella group, both from AHS, will join guitarist Erica Cha, The Speak Easies, Ms. Garay, William Gooding, dancer Ana Garay and The Kairos Effect in the concert.
Look out, Mr. C. —Ms. G. finds the promoter’s role to be exciting, if exhausting.
Passion, not pressure
“The first time I did it, I never felt pressured or felt that it was a nightmare. I thought about it a lot and put a lot of time into it, but if you love it, it shouldn’t give you nightmares,” she said. “It helps having people who are helping you and people you can look up to. In the past, I had some volunteers but they had to drop out and that was stressful. This year they’ve stayed with it and it’s been great.”
Ms. Garay cites as inspiration for her organizational efforts her parents. Fernando and Hazael Garay, pastors of Iglesia RevoluZion Church in Stony Point. She also credits Andrea Copeland, of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s great to have mentors who showed me the way,” she said. “I love performing and I love organizing the concerts. I’m hoping that, when I turn 18, I can get my [nonprofit tax status] and organize more benefits.”