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WESTON — Music has always been a part of Sophie Levy's life. She's even a singer and guitarist for her all-girl band, The Corduroys.
So, when Levy, a rising senior at Weston High School, learned her friend didn't have the same access to music lessons and instruments, she knew she wanted to do something to fix it.
"I realized how fortunate I was, and I wanted to give back to people who couldn't afford music lessons," Levy said.
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Enter Weston Woodstock, a benefit concert Levy has been organizing for months and will take center stage at 5 p.m. on June 24.
The advertisement describes the event as "three hours of peace, love and music," playing off the event's namesake.
It aims to raise money for Kids Empowered by Your Support, or KEYS, in Bridgeport which provides music lessons and instruments for students whose families cannot afford it.
"We are so grateful for Sophie putting on the Weston Woodstock Benefit for KEYS," KEYS Executive Director Karen Cobham said. "The extreme effort that Sophie is taking to spread the love of music through our KEYS program means a lot to us. We are truly in awe of the work that she is doing to support our mission."
Cobham said money raised will support their summer camp, which runs July 24 through Aug. 18, providing music education to more than 80 Bridgeport students Monday through Friday.
Levy said she originally wanted it to be for scholarships through School of Rock, where she attends, but it didn't work out. She looked for other agencies in Connecticut, and stumbled upon KEYS in March.
She said participating in School of Rock has been a great experience for her, helping expand her passion for music.
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"I wanted other people to be able to follow what they want to do in life, or even just try music," Levy said.
She added that they are lucky to have music classes in the Weston school district, as not all schools have the opportunity.
Levy said she thought KEYS was a perfect match and were immediately onboard.
She said the current goal is to raise $5,000 from tickets and sponsorships.
After getting KEYS on board, Levy said she started looking for venues, landing on the Weston History and Culture Center, where her band has performed before.
Levy said she struggled with a name for a while, but after securing the venue, her mom helped her come up with the name Weston Woodstock.
There are four bands performing at the benefit concert: Fever, Next Day Delivery, The Barrels and Levy's band, The Corduroys.
She said these bands are all local to Fairfield County and also largely made up of high school students she knew through School of Rock or just from being around the area.
After reaching out to food trucks to attend the event, Levy said it became difficult to balance planning and her school work, so she got her best friend, Avery Kreitler, to help out, who is also interested in music.
With the help, Levy said they were able to get sponsors for the event, who will help raise money.
With the event still a week or so away, Levy said she's already hoping to host another one because it has been fun so far. After she graduates, she said she would either like to keep hosting it, or pass it onto someone else.
Levy said she's excited that they get to play at the concert, as she's always wanted to perform for her own benefit concert.
She added the other bands all have their own style and are very good.
Fitting for the name, Levy said this event is a good way for people to reminisce on older styles of music, and expose younger audiences to older music, as each of the bands are made up of teenagers.
Levy said in the past, The Corduroys have covered songs that are typically written and performed by women, like "Edge of Seventeen" by Stevie Nicks, "Valerie" by Amy Winehouse and "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor, but they've also branched out.
Tickets cost $15 per person or $35 per family and can be purchased at the door.
"Sophie's fundraising efforts will help ensure we continue to offer free music education to young people of Bridgeport and we can't thank her enough for all that she has done to support our organization," Cobham said.