With a wish and a prayer, 17-year-old Matt Klenda hopes his efforts pay off.
The Hillsboro High School senior is single-handedly producing a rock concert at 7 p.m. Saturday night in the 4-H building on the Marion County Fairgrounds, Hillsboro.
“I’ve attended concerts with friends in other towns like Wichita, Salina, and Lawrence,” Klenda said. “It’s time to have something like that closer.”
He said teens always are saying there is nothing to do in Hillsboro, Marion, Peabody, and other areas of the county, so he wants to give them something to do.
Scheduled to perform are rock and Christian rock bands —“Repentance” from Wichita, “For the Love of God” with band members from Salina and Hillsboro, “Show at the Ballroom” from Derby, “Elphaz” with band members from Ellsworth and Manhattan, and solo act Kelsey Unruh, an HHS alum.
So, how does a 17-year-old dream up something this big?
The casual, unassuming, friendly teen said he talked with his business teacher, Nathan Hiebert, “and my Mom encouraged me,” Klenda said.
Tickets are $5 each, a price most teens should be able to afford. Klenda hopes to recoup his “investment” of bringing the bands to Marion County through ticket sales and concessions.
Of course, he could not do this without a little help from his friends, J. Michael Hiebert (who is a member of the band “For the Love of God”), Brady Blazek, and a host of volunteers.
Klenda plans to attend college next fall with possibly a teaching career in his future but said he would love to be a band promoter. He figures this is a good experience for him in the “real” world.
“We’ll see what happens,” he said with a smile.