CHARLOTTE, N.C. (November 30, 2022) — As lead guitarist for platinum-selling country artist Darius Rucker, Quinton Gibson has entertained audiences around the globe for more than a decade. This holiday season, he and country music standout April Cushman will be in Charlotte playing a special concert to celebrate the accomplishments of Greater Enrichment Program (GEP) Students who participate in a monthly intergenerational reading program with residents of Southminster.
   The concert, billed as “A Holiday Celebration,” will be staged in the Great Rooms at Southminster, with all residents and staff joining GEP students to enjoy holiday music from these two renowned country music artists. During the concert, the audience of 54 students will also receive gifts the Southminster staff has donated through the South Charlotte retirement community’s Life Enrichment and Philanthropy programs.

Building Relationships Between Generations
Students in the GEP program visit Southminster once a month and spend an hour reading one-to-one with residents, many of whom are former educators. Since the reading program began in 2018, the relationship between GEP and Southminster has grown to include special events, gifts and donations to students, and direct financial support to help keep GEP summer programs operational in Charlotte’s most at-risk schools. 
Since 1975, Greater Enrichment Program (GEP) has served more than 10,000 at-risk elementary-aged children in the community by providing a quality after-school enrichment program and hosting a summer learning academy. GEP’s licensed after-school program operates at three sites in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools with services, including transportation and healthy snacks, at no cost to GEP participants. By providing support to the whole family, GEP helps children gain knowledge, confidence, and character to achieve their personal best in school and in their community.
GEP Executive Director Bronica Glover explained that GEP provides a safe learning environment with cultural opportunities students might not otherwise have. “The support of foundations and communities like Southminster that make uplifting gatherings like this holiday concert possible really broaden our kids’ horizons and add dimension to their lives,” Glover said. Learn more at www.gepinc.org
The impetus for the relationship between the South Charlotte retirement community and GEP began when former Southminster resident Dr. Julian Albergotti attended a church service with his wife EJ and returned home eager to get involved with GEP.  As soon as Dr. Albergotti and Southminster’s Philanthropy department met with GEP leadership, the relationship took off.
This year’s special holiday concert is one more way the Southminster community is honoring its commitment to give back during this shiny and bright season of giving.

About Quinton Gibson:
Quinton is lead guitarist for Platinum selling Country artist Darius Rucker, performing such chart toppers as “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It”, “Comeback Song”, “Wagon Wheel” – and even becoming revered in Country Music circles for his guitar solo on the Prince classic “Purple Rain.” Quinton has performed on such nationally televised shows as the “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Late Night with David Letterman,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Good Morning America,” “Today Show,” “CBS This Morning,” “Fox And Friends,” “American Idol,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “CMA Awards,” “ACM Awards,” “SUPER BOWL’s LII and LIV“ and many others.

About April Cushman:
Recently named the 2022 New England Music Awards’ Country Act of the Year, April has opened for artists like Rodney Atkins, and Lonestar, while making appearances at shows for Darius Rucker, Sugarland and many other artists. She has written songs with Vibe Publishing Artist Steve Smentek, as well as hit writer, Marty Dodson in preparation for her next album, set to release early summer of 2023. Her debut album, “The Long Haul” was released in November 2021 and reached #16 on the iTunes Country Album charts; the record was produced by Nashville Grammy Nominated Producer, Colt Capperrune. April’s passion and love for country music started at age five when she sang “Key of G” in the children’s choir at her church.