For the Palace concert, the Earth Harp Collective will have five instrumentalists, including Close, and singer Rafe Pearlman, who has been performing with Close and the ensemble since they placed third on "America's Got Talent" in 2012.
"We do the Beatles to Bach," says Close. The Branson show was all music from films, including themes from "2001: A Space Odyssey" and James Bond movies, but Close also likes to include familiar classical hooks as well. For instance, he's lately been doing an Earth Harp version of Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man."
"It's such an epic," he says. "When you find things that are right for the instrument, you have to go with them."
The Palace concert is being presented by Sock Out Cancer, a nonprofit launched in Binghamton that raises funds for families facing financial difficulty as a result of a cancer diagnosis. Sock Out Cancer started by selling multicolored socks and has expanded to fundraising events like the Earth Harp Collective concert. Net proceeds from the show will go jointly to the foundations of Albany Medical Center and St. Peter's Hospital, to be distributed to pay for patients' and their families' nonmedical needs, including transportation, groceries and housing.
"The proceeds ... will help ease the emotional and financial burdens that our families face every single day and give them one less thing to worry about," said Dr. Jennifer M. Pearce, a pediatric hematologist/oncologist at the Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Albany Med.
Added Dr. Kyle Denniston, a radiation oncologist at St. Peter's Hospital Cancer Care Center, "This financial ... burden that's placed on our cancer patients is one that has been ignored and ... (is often) overlooked." Relief offered by fundraising charities like Sock Out Cancer, he said, "really are crucial to providing the support and financial stability for patients when they are going through ... their most difficult days."