Grammy winner to perform at SDSU

Hannah Baker

Hannah Baker

Legendary pop icon and four-time Grammy Award winner Aaron Neville and his Quintet will perform a benefit concert on April 16. The concert, taking place at SDSU’s Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m., will help raise scholarship funds for student music majors.

The concert is hosted by Woodbine Productions, a project through the SDSU Foundation that works to bring unique and talented entertainment to the Brookings community while helping the music department at SDSU.

“All the proceeds made by ticket sales go directly to the music department,” said David Reynolds, head of the music department at SDSU. “This is really a great opportunity for the music department and we are very excited to have Aaron Neville performing for us.”

Laura Diddle-Hildebrant, associate professor of music, had similar words to say about the upcoming concert.

“We are all very, very grateful and thrilled that Aaron Neville is performing for us,” she said. “The Woodbine program is such a blessing and we are honored that we are able to host such wonderful concerts for the Brookings community.”

The concert is being held at no cost to SDSU. Woodbine Productions, which is underwritten by an anonymous benefactor, has generously paid for the entire event in full so SDSU can raise as much money as possible for its music program.

The Woodbine Scholars Program also awards notable scholarships to the top-rated students intending to pursue music at SDSU.

Reynolds said that the music department has already successfully offered 20 scholarships to incoming freshman students who intend to study music and he hopes this concert gives the department the funds to offer even more.

Although the name Aaron Neville may not ring any musical bells for students right away, Reynolds says there are bound to be several songs students would immediately recognize once they heard them played. A few of Neville’s more popular songs include, “Tell It Like It Is,” “Don’t Know Much” and “All My Life,” which all became top-10 hits at one time.

Among winning four Grammys, Neville has also been nominated for 16 Grammys in various categories such as country and western, gospel, pop, and R&B. Also, in 1994 Neville was chosen as Best Male Singer for the second year in a row by the Rolling Stone critics’ poll.

Neville’s soulful, jazzy vocal style is bound to please any listener, no matter what generation they come from. (opinion, needs attribution)

Riley Svatos, a junior music education major from Lake Andes, S.D., said she is very excited about Neville’s upcoming concert and encourages other students to go.

“Aaron Neville sings songs that even the young generation would recognize and enjoy,” Svatos said. “I respect him immensely and think it’s going to be a great concert.”

Elise Humke, a sophomore music major of Sioux Falls, also said students should consider attending the concert.

“It’s a great way for students to not only help the music department, but also watch a great concert at the same time,” Humke said.

Ticket prices range from $12 to $35, depending on the section, and can be purchased on campus in the Lincoln Music Hall. Reynolds said students and citizens of the Brookings community should take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to witness a great performer because it’s hard to tell if the opportunity will ever come again.

Aaron Neville is not the only concert that Woodbine Productions plans on featuring for the community. Coming next November, it will host Moscow’s Russian Symphony, as well as other performances.

For more information on how to get involved in helping support SDSU student scholarships and to make donations, visit