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KeithFest June 29 in Clayton to benefit music scholarships


CLAYTON — The fourth annual KeithFest music scholarship fundraiser is June 29 at Coyote Moon Vineyards on East Line Road.

The last three events have raised more than $50,000. Proceeds go to the Keith Brabant Music Scholarship established with the Thousand Islands Foundation. The scholarship is awarded annually to students who live in Jefferson County who need financial assistance. Organizers, to date, have given out seven scholarships. Three recipients will be presented with checks totaling $2,400 at this year’s festival.

Keith Fest, formerly known as the Keith Brabant Music Scholarship Festival, honors Clayton native Keith Brabant, who died in 2010 at the 33. He was the victim of a fatal shooting in the town of Alexandria.

A month after Mr. Brabant’s death, the scholarship was created by a group of friends and family to help aspiring young local musicians fulfill their dreams.

Mr. Brabant — a musician and composer who performed in numerous bands all over the country — had received Northern New York Community Foundation scholarships.

The lineup for this year’s festival is still being finalized, but local bands to appear include Wagners Agenda, the List and Shagnasty. A two-stage setup will enable the festival to offer continuous music throughout the day. Acts will perform from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

There also will be family-friendly activities, craft and food vendors, an instrument petting zoo, games and craft projects, raffles and many “blind bid” items. The raffle items include hotel lodging, fishing charters and meals.

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The opening performance at Keith Fest will be the Trillium Fiddlers, playing from 10 to 10:45 a.m. The select group of students from Trillium Music Center, Watertown, perform traditional fiddle music. The group’s repertoire includes Irish, Scottish, American and French Canadian music.

The Trillium Music Center was founded in Watertown in 1990 to provide quality music instruction on orchestral string instruments for preschool through adult students. Students are from Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. The program includes private lessons, group classes, fiddle classes, theory classes and orchestras. There are 100 students in the program.

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Keith Fest has new logos this year, reflecting its name change. The logos were designed by local artist Greg Lago and by Erin Dearth, a Jeff-Lewis Board of Vocational Educational Services visual communications student. Ms. Dearth’s logo design combines the new Keith Fest name with a redesign of the festival’s original guitar with wings logo. Mr. Lago created his logo by drawing a wooden boat full of musical instruments and a peace sign, elements that were important to Mr. Brabant.

For more festival and scholarship information, including the full schedule for 2013 Keith Fest bands and activities, as well as vendor information, visit

the details
WHAT: Keith Fest
WHEN/WHERE: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. June 29 at Coyote Moon Vineyards, East Line Road, Clayton.
COST: Tickets are $10 for ages 12 to 65, $25 for a family and $5 for those under 12, over age 65 or with student or military ID.
Advance sale tickets are $8 for ages 12 to 65 and $20 for a family. They are available at the Victorian, 905 James St., and the Lost Navigator, 215 James St., Clayton, and Musicology, 241 State St., Watertown.
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