Meet our 2021 Local Celebrity Judges
Thérèse LaGamma’s career in arts administration spans two decades. She recently served as Director of Programming for the Music Hall in downtown Portsmouth, NH. Her track record includes presenting thousands of events- including producing the Portsmouth Singer Songwriter Festival and launching numerous popular signature series that brought artists like Ray Lamontagne, Thievery Corporation, Feist, Trey Anastasio, Trevor Noah, The Moth Mainstage to the Seacoast. She is currently a host and announcer at 91.3 FM, WUNH and New Hampshire Public Radio.
“I used to work at the Pine Street Inn as a Counselor. I was also raised in countries where poverty was mainstream. So many of the people I worked with in Boston were fathers, sons, grandfathers.. who simply fell on hard times. Thank you for helping shine a spotlight on this issue. “
Sheree Owens is a three-time New Hampshire Theatre Award winner who has been active in community and professional theatre for 26 years. She holds a degree in Musical Theatre from Dean College in Franklin, MA and currently works as the Programming Manager for the Capitol Center for the Arts/Bank of New Hampshire Stage.
“I grew up in Concord and I love this city. At the same time, I am a single parent and have experienced firsthand how hard it is to find affordable housing here. Concord has grown and changed in many wonderful ways, but there is still a lot of work to be done. CCEH’s mission to provide emergency shelter and resources as well as long-term affordable housing is crucial to creating a community that we can all be proud of, where every resident has a safe place to call home”
Alex Preston is a 27-year-old singer-songwriter from New Hampshire who has been involved in music since he was four years old. He plays over twelve instruments, ranging from the guitar to the violin, and writes his own music.
Alex was the second runner-up on the thirteenth season of American Idol in 2014, which launched his career to new heights. Alex has performed all over the United States and Canada perfecting his craft and working with some of the top names in music.
“Homelessness is a huge problem all over the world, and is definitely visible in the beautiful city of Concord, NH. I am more than happy to support CCEH and join The River in raising awareness and raising funds to get people off the street. Sometimes someone just needs a little help and a little push to get a roof over their heads, and events like this help make that happen.”
Sam Robbins describes himself as an “old soul singer songwriter.” Originally from Portsmouth, NH, Sam is a Nashville based musician whose music evokes classic singer songwriters like James Taylor and Jackson Browne. Sam adds a modern, upbeat edge to the storyteller troubadour persona. An avid performer, he has gained recognition from extensive touring and as the first artist to perform a Jim Croce song on NBC’s The Voice. Sam is releasing his debut album in May 2021.
NH is my home, and I’ve spent a lot of time travelling throughout the state playing shows and meeting lots of different people in different situations. I know that homelessness is a real issue here, and that’s why I’m glad to be a part of an event with CCEH. We need to be finding real solutions to homelessness here, solutions that provide housing and resources with dignity to our fellow granite starters. In partnering with so many local businesses, I think CCEH is well equipped to find those solutions. – Thanks so much, Sam
Michael Witthaus is the Music & Comedy Features Writer for The Hippo, New Hampshire’s largest paper. Michael has covered the regional music scene for 17 years, and was a radio and nightclub DJ early in his career. Michael received the Scene Award for outstanding dedication and involvement at the 2019 New England Music Awards. Michael is a solid believer in the Concord Coalition to End Homelessness’s mission.
“When I was a teenager, I experienced homelessness first hand, and the uncertainty is tragic,” he said. “All of us with the means to do so should help this important cause.” – Michael Witthaus