The harmonies of a classic Motown group will pave the way to meet the financial needs of South Carolina State University students.
The Orangeburg chapter of the S.C. State National Alumni Association will sponsor a concert by The Temptations Revue at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 16, at Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center.
The local chapter currently awards two $500 scholarships to incoming high school students. Chapter president Cedric Wright said the concert proceeds will be used to augment that program and provide other financial assistance through S.C. State.
"When we started, we gave $2,500 to the school," Wright said. "We are hoping this concert will help us donate at least $50,000 for the need-based scholarships.
"The reason is two-fold. This will help the university's student recruitment process and increase enrollment. Currently, a lot of our students have to rely on Pell grants and other education loans to pay tuition."
Chapter member Willie Bamberg conceived the idea after attending the group's show in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., last July. He said concert proceeds can help students pay incidental expenses.
"We have a lot of students who get hit with unanticipated fees, usually around $100 to $200," Bamberg said. "It's not a lot of money, but often they can't afford the extra amount. Because of that, they aren't able to pay and have to leave school.
"The stats show the ones we lose often don't come back. This money will help bridge that gap. (The band) wants to do this and give back to the community. We want to take advantage of it."
Bamberg began a dialogue with Nate Evans, Temptations Revue founder. The Gary, Ind., native said he is willing to play scholarship concerts at other state colleges, too.
"(Bamberg) and I started talking after the show," Evans said. "He told me what he was doing, and I thought about what I could do to help.
"I told him we could do a series of shows priced below what we normally receive if he would set up the colleges."
S.C. State will be the first historically black college or university at which Evans' group has performed. A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions, The Temptations Revue has performed around the world.
"We have played everywhere - Australia, Japan and South Africa. They seem to love us," Evans said. "I expect (the audience) to go on a ride with us back to the past, when Motown was Motown and riding in the back of a Chevy was riding in the back of a Chevy.
"I would like to keep this music alive."
Opening for The Temptations Revue will be local contemporary Christian group Appointed and Christian comedian Lula Bell Boswell.
Tickets for the concert are $30 per person and $500 for an eight-person table in front of the stage. Doors will open at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at B&B Meat and Fish Market in Bamberg, the S.C. State athletic ticket office, the Brown Derby or Goldstein's on Russell, or contact Bamberg at 803-378-5270.
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