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Aspiring Eagle Scout putting on Nov. 7 concert

David Nelson is putting on an awareness concert Nov. 7 for his Eagle Scout project. The Minnesota Boychoir, which Nelson is a member of, is one of the featured musical acts. Staff photo by Hank Long.

David Nelson admits his Eagle Scout project is a bit unconventional. He's not building something for a local church or school. He's lending his passion and talent for music to bring awareness to the plight of those who are starving half a world away.

The Math and Science Academy sophomore and Troop 513 Boy Scout has been working for months to put together his Sunday, Nov. 7 concert "Music for Haiti."

The concert, which Nelson is putting on to raise awareness for the Feed My Starving Children organization is taking place at King of Kings Lutheran Church at 3 p.m. Three acts, will perform at the event, including the Minnesota Boychoir, and the Math and Science Academy's Madrigal Singers and jazz band. Nelson belongs to all three groups and said he's excited to bring them under one roof for one performance.

"The Minnesota Boychoir is an amazing group that's nationally and even internationally known," Nelson said. "And Madrigal and the jazz band, are really great too. You see them perform and they show you that a small school can do this stuff too."

Nelson has been involved in the scouting program since he was 6 years old. That's also about the time he began playing piano. He admits that both activities began as hobbies his parents got him started in and have, over the years, become two important facets of his life.

"I've gotten so many opportunities through scouts, with all the campouts, projects and friends you meet, it's a great organization," Nelson said. "And to be able to take something I love like music and turn it into my Eagle Scout project, it's been kind of a dream come true."

But the process of organizing the concert hasn't been a piece of cake, he admitted.

Last spring it took some work convincing the board responsible for approving his Eagle Scout project to buy into the idea of a musical concert.

"It took some tweaking to make it happen, but my instructor was very helpful," Nelson said. "I'm glad we got it done."

Emceeing the event

Nelson himself will not perform with the groups at the concert, as he will emcee the event. In addition to the musical numbers (which are planned to include some songs new to the Minnesota Boychoir repertoire), Nelson will give a presentation on the Feed My Starving Children organization and the continued needs in Haiti after an earthquake devastated much of the country in January. The concert is free of charge, but a free will offering is suggested. A post-concert reception is planned along with computer station sign-ups to volunteer at Feed My Starving Children sites in the Twin Cities.

Nelson hopes to attract 100-200 people to the concert and raise about $1,000.

He said he's a little nervous to see how it all turns out, but is glad to see his work come to fruition.

"This is what I love to do," he said. "My whole life is pretty much centered around music, so to be able to bring all these elements to my Eagle Scout project, that's pretty cool."