Getting the chance to pursue his dreams inspired Sean Buhr to help others do the same.
A native of Fort Dodge, Buhr graduated with a master's degree in performance from New York University, and is now performing and auditioning in New York City. He will be back in his home town Aug. 7 and 8 to give a benefit concert for a new fine arts scholarship.
Buhr's mother, MaryAnn McSweeny-Buhr, owns McSweeny's School of the Performing Arts and teaches vocal music there. She said the scholarship was Buhr's idea.
"He got it organized," McSweeny-Buhr said. "He wanted to give back to community. He talked to his younger brother Patrick and the ball got rolling."
The concert will feature primarily Buhr the first day and numerous Fort Dodge artists the second day.
Buhr said he will perform "mostly musical theater selections, from classic Gershwin, Irving Berlin songs to contemporary musical theater. I'll also do some popular songs as well."
If you go:
What: Benefit concert for McSweeny Scholarship
When: 7 p.m. Aug. 7-8. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Where: McSweeny's School of the Performing Arts, 1633 N. 29th St.
Tickets: In advance $15 adults, $5 students, available at American Family Insurance, 812 N. 15th St. At the door $20 adults, $10 students. Tickets are for both days; tickets for Aug. 8 only are $5.
"The second night will be covers and original pieces performed by local artists," McSweeny-Buhr said. "Patrick said the style would be considered 'alternative.'"
She said 100 percent of the money raised from the concerts would go to the scholarship fund. The scholarship will be awarded to graduating seniors from McSweeny's School who will be pursuing vocal music at the college level.
Buhr said he has lived with music his whole life. He was involved with many high school productions at St. Edmond before he graduated in 2006.
"I've always had support by people," he said. "In undergrad I've seen a lot of people who haven't really had support and they've really mustered up all kinds of willpower and drive themselves.
"I know the financial part of continuing your art career is sometimes hard. I want to minimize that as much as possible, to really allow someone to dive further into their craft."