KFC is famous for its 11 secret herbs and spices, but this week’s annual franchise convention features Williamsport’s own intense blend.
On Tuesday, 19 students from Special Performance Group 1 of the Uptown Music Collective will perform as featured entertainment at the Kentucky Fried Chicken Franchisees Association (AKFCF) annual convention. The performance will take place at Stubb’s Bar-BQ in Austin, Texas. His Stubb’s, a famous barbecue joint, is also a popular entertainment venue in Austin, hosting regional and national acts like Weezer, Los Lonely Boys, and Adele.
Student performers from the Uptown Music Collective present a two-and-a-half-hour concert featuring a diverse selection of music from recent and past concerts. Classic rock of his 70’s and his 80’s featuring music from The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Heart, Pat Benatar and Madonna.
“This is a great opportunity for our students.” According to the release, Collective founder and executive director Dave Brumbaugh said: “It’s the stuff of real rock stars. You fly in on Monday, play major venues on Tuesday, and fly out on Wednesday. Keith Cole, president of this year’s AKFCF and local Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise , thank you for believing in our performance group and organization to make this happen.”
The collective’s relationship with Kentucky Fried Chicken spans many years through UMC alumnus and instructor Isabella Cole (a crowd favorite when she was on stage), sister Sophia, and father Keith. also goes back.
“Keith has long been a believer in what we do at UMC and has supported the organization in many ways.” According to the release, Uptown Music Collective Assistant Executive Director Jared Mondell said: “His support is most notable in our continued participation in our partnership program and in the creation of an annual scholarship for students of the collective known as the ‘Coronels Community Scholarship Fund.’”
“Past AKFCF conventions have featured Train, Brooks & Dunn, Martina McBride and my personal favorite, John Fogerty.” According to the release, Cole said: “So I had a lot of time to think about what acts I wanted for the 2023 Presidential convention. I’m so proud to bring the best of our community to people from franchisees, vendors, and businesses across the country.
“The KFC family will find in Austin what we’ve known for so long in the Susquehanna Valley. The Uptown Music Collective’s concert is second to none.” He said.
This opportunity is not lost for the students who benefit from it.
“Playing in Texas is like a dream come true.” According to the release, Royalsock Township High School guitarist Josian Lilly, 17, said: “We are very excited to bring this talented group to the South and play some great music.”
Connor Evans, 17, of Williamsport Area High School, agrees.
“It’s been an amazing experience to play in such a great venue with great musicians and I’m so grateful to be a part of it.” According to the release, Evans said:
Vocalist Leah Batman, 17, said that while she appreciates every opportunity to perform, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“It is a great honor to be invited to this wonderful venue, and I am extremely grateful.” Batman said, according to the release. “I can’t wait to rock out with my best friends and share great music with the KFC family in Austin.”
For more information on the Uptown Music Collective and upcoming local performances, visit uptownmusic.org. Stay up to date on UMC’s trip to Texas by checking out the collective’s official Facebook page and other of the collective’s social media outlets.