Shine-a-Light music festival in RVC set for Oct. 6

Titus Andronicus kicks off two-night series for the Tommy Brull Foundation


The Tommy Brull Foundation will hold its annual Shine-a-Light Music Series on Oct. 6 and 22, featuring a critically acclaimed line-up that includes headliners Titus Andronicus and Lucero.

“This one is kind of big — it’s going to be pretty cool,” said organizer Martin Brull, a foundation co-founder.

The Tommy Brull Foundation is a Rockville Centre-based non-profit organization dedicated to raising money to benefit people with physical, mental and emotional challenges.

Founded in 2008 in memory of Martin’s brother, Tommy — a counselor at Camp Anchor who died in 1999 — the foundation has raised nearly $400,000 since its inception for multiple charities, including Camp Anchor, Billy’s Buddies and The Young Autism Program, and the group sponsors several fundraising events throughout the year.

The Shine-a-Light concert series began in 2011 with the indie-rock band Deer Tick as a headliner. Subsequent shows have attracted major rock acts such as the War on Drugs, Wormburner and Dean & Britta. The proceeds raised at the music events have benefitted a number of organizations and causes, including Camp Anchor, a year-round recreation center for children and adults with special needs living in the Town of Hempstead.

Tommy, along with Martin and their sister, Lauren, and foundation Co-founder Keith Lucchesi, grew up working at the camp.

“Some of the [proceeds from the] concerts have also gone to individuals — we’ve done one for a friend of my brother’s that is struggling with mental illness,” said Brull.

This year’s fundraiser Cannon’s Blackthorn will help support the construction of a special-needs playground in Rockvillle Centre.

“We’ve been raising money for that for a couple of years — it hasn’t come to fruition yet but we’re working on it,” Brull said.

The Oct. 6 concert will feature Titus Andronicus, a punk/indie rock band from New Jersey. The group released its fourth album, “The Most Lamentable Tragedy,” last year and has performed live on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Last Call with Carson Daly.

Shine-a-Light is a stop on the band’s current tour, and Brull said that the group was receptive to the organization’s mission. Opening for Titus on Oct. 6 is the group Happiness, a side project featuring members of Deer Tick. On Oct. 22, Lucero, the country/punk rock band based in Memphis, Tenn., and musician Cory Branan will perform.

Brull, a Rockville Centre resident and local surfer, said he was looking to do something different when he organized the festival in 2011. Because he and his brother shared a love of music — especially indie rock and punk — Brull thought it would be cool to put together a benefit concert.

“Most people are really shocked that we’re able to get the caliber of bands that we’ve been able to get,” Brull said. “I think people are starting to realize that we put good music together. I know my brother Tommy would have loved Titus Andronicus — they are right up his alley.”