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A Benefit Concert for the Karl Sellner Memorial Scholarship Fund

September 24, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Please join us for what is sure to be a great evening of music, food and friendship in remembrance of former Hope Academy student, Karl Sellner. Performers include The Billy Price Band and Afro Yaqui Music Collective with Hope Academy students. Come early to purchase food from food trucks on Penn and Whitfield Avenues and join us for Dinner in the Square. All proceeds will benefit the Hope Academy scholarship fund in Karl’s name.


5:00 – 8:00 pm – Dinner in the Square – purchase food from trucks on Penn and Whitfield

6:00 – 7:00 pm – Afro Yaqui Music Collective + Hope Academy’s HAT Co Singers and Band

7:00 – 8:00 pm – The Billy Price Band


We are happy to make this a free event so that it is accessible to all of our students, families, friends and music lovers, regardless of their ability to pay. We are equally happy to accept your generous donation to provide scholarships to Hope Academy in Karl Sellner’s name.

Suggested donation: $20 adults – $10 students

You can make a donation (cash or check) at the door; or RSVP for tickets and make a credit card donation online by clicking here.


Billy Price has been entertaining audiences in Pittsburgh, Pa., since the early 1970s. In April 2016, he was officially recognized and inducted as a Pittsburgh Rock ’n Roll Legend at an award ceremony sponsored by the Cancer Caring Center of Pittsburgh. Members of the Billy Price Band are Steve Delach (guitar), Tom Valentine (bass), Dave Dodd (drums), Jimmy Britton (keyboards), and Eric DeFade (tenor sax). Billy Price first attracted national attention during his three-year association with guitarist Roy Buchanan. Price is the vocalist on two of Buchanan’s LPs, That’s What I’m Here For and Livestock. Price assembled Billy Price and the Keystone Rhythm Band in 1977. Before their breakup in 1990, the band recorded four critically acclaimed LPs and developed a reputation as one of the most exciting touring bands in the U.S. With the Keystone Rhythm Band, the Billy Price Band, and solo projects, Billy Price has recorded and released a total of 15 albums, CDs, and DVDs. His album This Time for Real, with recently deceased Chicago soul singer Otis Clay, received a 2016 Blues Music Award by the Blues Foundation of Memphis, Tennessee in the category of Best Soul Blues Album. A live recording of the Billy Price Band, Alive and Strange, was released by Nola Blues/Vizztone Label Group in April 2017.


Hope Academy teaching artists, Ben Barson and Gizelxanath Rodriguez, bring jazz, funk and soul into dialogue with indigenous music of the 21st century.The Afro Yaqui Music Collective (AYMC) is a 9-piece outfit which descends from the ensembles of Guggenhiem award winner Fred Ho, whose work was influenced by West African, global Indigenous and East Asian musics. The AYMC is co-led by Gizelxanath Rodriguez, an internationally performing soprano and activist, who is also a winner of the 2014 ACE Award. The band is also led by her partner, Ben Barson, Fred Ho’s Baritone protege who “he felt has the heft and sound to represent [Ho’s] assertive approach (The New York Times).” Special guest artist, Havana – based musician Albertico Lescay.



Hope Academy of Music and the Arts, an outreach program of East Liberty Presbyterian Church, offers a safe place where young people of diverse racial, ethnic, cultural, socioeconomic, religious and linguistic backgrounds can further their personal and artistic growth through the study and performance of theater, dance and music. We strive to create a diverse and inclusive artistic community that provides deep arts instruction through a sequential and progressive program; that supports the personal and artistic growth of students and teaching artists, alike; and contributes to our community’s positive growth and cultural vibrancy. Over 350 young people and their families participate in Hope Academy’s programs throughout the year.



From an early age, Karl Jacob Sellner was simply captivated by his grandfather John Alden’s music, foreshadowing his life-long love of the performing arts.  This passion was nurtured by his family and by his many experiences as a student of Hope Academy. As a teen and young adult, Karl became an accomplished guitar player and lyricist.  As with his love of music, Karl found the other things he cared about early in life, including his wife Shelby and his calling to join the US Army to serve, like his grandfather had during WWII.  Like so many gifted musicians before him, Karl’s light was also shadowed by bi-polar disorder. On, September 11, 2016 Karl’s pain was too much and he ended his life.  The support of the Hope Academy community was treasured by his parents and 6 siblings during this time of grief and together they channeled this sadness into the Karl Jacob Sellner Memorial Fund for Hope Academy.  This fund honors his memory and ensures that his  love of music will live on through the beautiful voices, playing of various instruments, dance and acting of children for many years to come.


September 24, 2017
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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Hope Academy of Music and the Arts
412.441.3800 x111


East Liberty Presbyterian Church
116 S. Highland Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15206 United States
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