Upcoming Fleet performance to honor memory of San Diego broadcast veteran
By Dave Fidlin | SDUN Reporter
Since its debut last month, visitors have been rockin’ out to the various festivities surrounding the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center’s latest exhibit, “GUITAR: The Instrument that Rocked the World.”
The three-month program will take a somber turn next week, when the fourth installment of a six-part concert series will be held to honor Loren Nancarrow, the 30-year broadcast journalist perhaps best known in San Diego for his work on Fox 5.
Nancarrow, 60, died on Dec. 28 from complications involving brain cancer. He was diagnosed with the condition a year ago.
Fleet’s six-part concert series, ROCK in the PARK is closely intertwined with the current GUITAR exhibit. A special commemorative installment in Nancarrow’s memory will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21, with the late newscaster’s son, Graham Nancarrow, performing with his band.
Donations will be accepted during the concert to support the Loren Nancarrow Healing Garden Project at Scripps Health’s Radiation Therapy Center on the Torrey Pines Mesa.
Nancarrow’s wife, Susie, and their three children are in the process of working with Scripps staff to create the healing garden outside the radiation therapy center.
“After our experience with Scripps Hospital, we came away with such a sense of family,” Susie said in a video promoting the healing garden. “His wishes, and our wishes are to give back … and to make a difference.”
Speaking in the video, Graham said he was pleased to lend his support to the project.
“He was always one to start some kind of cause,” Graham said of his father. “It makes sense to me to start something like this.”
Throughout the concert series, ROCK in the PARK has featured a variety of different local musicians. Michael Tiernan, who for a period spent time with monks deep in the desert monasteries in the Vatican, has been opening each show with his acoustic blend of music.
As the concert series rounds the bend in March, Fleet has lined up Venice, a four-member vocal group, for the Friday, March 7 show and a special surprise guest for the final show on Friday, March 21.
Wendy M. Grant, director of marketing and communications with Fleet, said a significant amount of planning went into the organization’s first-ever event focused solely on live music.
“While we’ve had live bands play at special events many times in the past, we’ve never hosted an event solely focused on live music,” Grant said. “A lot went into planning the series.”
Since its debut last month, Grant said the GUITAR exhibit has been a popular, well-received show. As planning got underway for the exhibition, she said having a concert series seemed a natural accompaniment.
“What better way to celebrate the guitar than with live music?” she said. “We’re glad that people have been enjoying the opportunity to experience the Fleet in a different way.”
Grant said she believes GUITAR has been well received because it has many interactive exhibits, including the showcasing of the world’s largest playable guitar.
“Our core audience is families, and we’ll certainly never stray from that,” Grant said. “But we do offer targeted programs and events for specific age groups. The concert series is designed to appeal to adults who may not be familiar with Fleet or who may not have visited since their fifth-grade field trip.”
Admission to a ROCK in the PARK concert includes an opportunity to view all of the exhibit galleries. Proceeds from the concerts benefit Fleet’s science education programs.
While a decision has yet to be made, Grant suggested the concert series could make a return performance in the future.
“If ROCK in the PARK proves popular, we’ll look at doing it again next year,” she said.
AT A GLANCE
WHAT: ROCK in the PARK live concert series
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Fridays, Feb. 21, March 7 and March 21
WHERE: Reuben H. Fleet Science Center at Balboa Park, 1875 El Prado
TICKETS: $22 in advance for Fleet members, $25 in advance for nonmembers, $30 at the door; call 619-238-1233 or visit rhfleet.org