News

Black Diamond headlines July's First Friday

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

The City of Wilson’s annual 1st Fridays on the Lawn free community concert series begin this week. They will continue to be held each month, on the first Friday in August, September and October with a different style of music each night.

The concert events bring live music from 6-9 p.m., a free kids zone, family activities, intermission performance acts, local food vendors and community booths.

This Friday will be R&B Night, featuring Black Diamond, a Wilson band consisting of brothers Clarence and Reggie Fuller, and Reggie Barnes, aka Reno. They began singing at home and in the church choir. Through different talent shows, the brother duo met Reno, exchanged numbers and hooked up for a couple of practices. It was obvious from the start would be working together in the future. The name of the band comes from strong black men trying to do something positive and bring back that real R&B singing, while "Diamond" meaning precious, rare and valuable, but hard as stone. They are real R&B cats, playing music that included Jodeci, Boyz II Men, Charlie Wilson Music, The O’Jays, VaShawn and Triumphant Zone.

Each month a different group will provide intermission entertainment while the band takes a break. Often these groups are local dance companies or children’s choirs.

This week the Imani Children’s Choir, traveling in the USA, will provide the intermission entertainment starting around 7 pm.  They will perform traditional African dance, song and drum routines. The purpose of the choir is to promote and bring awareness to the plight of the orphaned and vulnerable children in Uganda through their craft in music and dance. Their performances have earned them recognition as one of the best children’s choirs in the nation.

Imani Milele is a Ugandan phrase that literally means “everlasting faith”. It is a registered nonprofit organization based in Uganda working with poor, rural communities especially affected by poverty, disease and ignorance. The organization was established in 1989 and currently serves over 3000 orphaned and vulnerable children providing housing, education and skill training.

The Human Relations Commission sponsors the concert series as a way to celebrate diversity through music. The Commission also sponsors the annual Humanitarian Banquet and supports a variety of community programs that reach out to citizens of Wilson.

1st Fridays on the Lawn is a family-friendly event. Admission is free. All concerts are alcohol free. Pets are preferred to be left at home, but if brought must obey the leash law. Families are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, a blanket and even a picnic from home.

In case of rain, the concerts will be moved downtown to the Boykin Center. The schedule will remain the same with the doors opening at 5 p.m. and the music starting at 6 p.m.

“We are happy to provide this free concert series each year,” says Theresa Mathis, event coordinator for the Human Relations Office, “Having an event right in our own downtown were all the families of Wilson can come together and celebrate is special. Nothing puts a smile on your face faster than great music, good food and children’s laughter.”

For more information check out the 1st Fridays on the Lawn web page on the City of Wilson’s website (wilsonnc.org), key word search “1st Fridays” or contact the Human Relations Office by calling 399-2308.