Friday, October 5, 2012

Musicians pay posthumous tribute to local songwriter

Before Charlotte songwriter and psychologist Tim Lemmond died of cancer in March 2011 after struggling with the disease off and on for eight years, he wanted to finish his final album - an album that many fans and friends had requested after hearing him perform the songs live. 

"He literally worked on the recordings until the day before he went into the hospital for the last time," said his wife Laurie Reed. "He was still listening to those songs and changing the order and still working on them in the hospital."

Sunday the album will finally see release during the Tim Lemmond Legacy Concert and scholarship fund launch. Proceeds from the sale of the album and the concert will benefit the Tim Lemmond Music Scholarship at Community School of the Arts, which will provide music lessons for children served by the Children's Home Society. The non-profit agency provides support for biological, foster, and adoptive families, many of whom are in transition. As a psychologist Lemmond worked with social services, group homes, and children in foster care, so the scholarship will specifically benefit the kinds of children he worked with and cared for. 

Sunday's performers include students from CSA, some of which have experience with Children's Home Society. Adult performers include John Tosco, who is promoting the event through Tosco Music Parties along with CSA and CHS, Reed, Kevin Edwards, who engineered Lemmond's new album in his home studio, and a bevy of other locals. They'll be performing Lemmond's original music. 

After Lemmond's death it took time for his loved ones to complete the project. 

"Kevin worked a long time to master it and do some more sound engineering. It was hard. For a while people kept saying when will it be ready?" Reed recalled. "Once Kevin finished his part I began to understand how hard it was. I had to get in my part and do the writing. Our son did the jacket. It was hard stepping back into it."

Reed also wasn't sure what to do with the proceeds from the album until she received a letter from a girl who'd received a scholarship for music lessons to Community School of the Arts in Lemmond's name through the minister at the family's church. 

"In February I got this letter from this little girl thanking me for supporting the Community School of the Arts. She said, 'I love my voice teacher and I forget about my illness.' It was just so touching and it just clicked for me. I am going to turn it back in for other kids to get the lessons that she’s getting," Reed  explained. She decided to focus on children like those Lemmond worked with. "I felt that connection with kids in foster care and in social services with difficulty themselves, family stressers and big life challenges - those are the kids who often have the least access to the arts." 

The Tim Lemmond Legacy Concert takes place at 7 p.m. Sunday, October 7, at McGlohon Theatre (345 N. College St.). Tickets are $15. Children 12 and under get in free. Tickets are available online here. For more information or to donate to the Tim Lemmond Music Scholarship fund go to