The second annual Hunter’s Gift: A Musical Tribute with a Message of Hope will honor the legacy of Chattanooga musician Hunter White, who ended his life last July. The tribute event, to be held at Songbirds on Oct. 13, will raise awareness about the prevalence of suicide among young adults, like Hunter.
“According to Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, suicide takes the lives of more than 44,965 Americans every year,” said Beth Moore, Hunter’s mother. “It is our responsibility to do all we can to show those struggling with mental illness that they are not alone. By sharing Hunter’s story and gift of music, our goal is to raise awareness and make a lasting difference in the lives of others, particularly those who are afraid or unwilling to seek help.”
In a study conducted by researchers at the University of Texas, musicians are more than five times as likely to be depressed and six times as likely to suffer from anxiety due to high levels of job insecurity. Many of them often supplement their income by working in the food service industry. Hunter worked in both industries, which are ranked in Health.com’s Top 10 professions with the highest risk of mental illness.
Following Hunter’s unexpected death last year, his family and friends considered meaningful ways to honor Hunter’s life and raise awareness about mental health and suicide prevention. The inaugural tribute concert last year raised over $8,000 for Shaking Ray Levi Society, a Chattanooga nonprofit that nurtures creativity in children with developmental, emotional or physical disabilities through music and percussion.
“The event last year was a beautiful tribute to Hunter’s life and we are grateful that his friends and the musical community want to honor him again in this way,” said Hunter’s father, Freddy White. “It brings a sense of peace knowing Hunter’s kind heart and loving spirit made a significant impression on those around him. Our hope is that this event will continue to impact the community and allow Hunter’s legacy to live on through what he loved most: music.”
Proceeds from the event will allow Shaking Ray Levi Society to continue The Rhythmic Arts Project (TRAP), a nationally recognized program that gives participants an enjoyable and hands-on way to approach basic life skills and scholastics through percussion. All admission fees will be donated to the organization.
The tribute concert will feature many local bands, including ones in which Hunter played. Performers include Milele Roots, The Communicators, Paper Mache and several others. Doors will open at 3 p.m. and music will begin at 4 p.m. Tickets are $10 and available at the door.