Boom Fest features local talent

Three local musicians will lend their talents to an event designed to support services offered by the O’Neill Center.

O’Neill Center Boom Fest will be held at Peoples Bank Theatre on Friday and will feature Waterford resident Chasiti Murphy, Parkersburg native John Kunze and the Steve Hussey Band, hailing from Washington, W.Va.

“I have been singing since I was able to speak and started doing talent shows in first grade,” said Murphy, whose repertoire includes everything from Adele to Sugarland to the Righteous Brothers.

She placed third in the Beverly-Waterford Homecoming talent show when she was in the fifth grade and even made it a couple rounds in the “American Idol” auditions.

“I just love performing. A lot of people have told me I should go on ‘The Voice’ and I’ve been thinking about it. But whether I’m getting paid or it’s for a fundraiser, I will sing anywhere,” Murphy said.

The idea behind Boom Fest comes from trying to reach out to the Baby Boomer generation, said Connie Huntsman, executive director of the O’Neill Center.

“The boomers are a group we’ve been looking at for some time and they need our help. Fundraising is a big part of what we do and who doesn’t like booming music?” she said.

Kunze is a rising country musician who has recorded in Nashville and will be releasing an album soon. The Steve Hussey Band is a Mid-Ohio Valley staple, performing at fairs and festivals all over the east coast.

While they have not determined a specific monetary goal for the event, Huntsman said that attendees can rest assured that the cost of the ticket is a donation right back to the O’Neill Center’s programs for seniors. Some eateries around the theater are also offering discounts to people who show their ticket, including The Original Pizza Place and Jeremiah’s Coffeehouse.

Drew Tanner, marketing director for the Peoples Bank Theatre, said that partnerships with nonprofits like the O’Neill Center tie into the vision that the board had when refurbishing the theater.

“We were approached to host their event as we’ve done with other community nonprofits and we’re happy to be the venue,” he said. The theater, which is also a nonprofit organization, does charge a fee for hosting the events.

Tickets for the event that begins at 7 p.m. are $18, $23 and $25 and are available at or by calling the box office at 740-371-5152.

If you go

¯ What: O’Neill Center Boom Fest.

¯ When: 7 p.m. Friday.

¯ Where: Peoples Bank Theatre.

¯ Who: Chasiti Murphy, John Kunze, Steve Hussey Band.

¯ Tickets: $18-$25, available at