NIK Fest helping buy instruments for students - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

NIK Fest helping buy instruments for students

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

A Lake Charles native's love of music lives on more than two years after his death. Local musicians got up and sang for free at Stellar Beans Coffee House for a benefit in memory of Nikolaus Smith, who was killed in a car accident.

The third annual "NIK Fest" brought out more than a dozen local artists and musicians. The proceeds from the event help buy instruments for the Bulber Youth Orchestra at McNeese State University.

"It's bittersweet because we miss him but it's great to see that his love of music is being continued on and that we can bring this love of music to other people," said Danita Noland, Nikolaus' aunt.

Kevin Lambert was one of the artists who took the stage and is also a family friend of the Smiths.

"It's a good feeling because most of the time when we play the good cause is for us. So when we are doing it for free to help out other musicians, especially younger musicians - it's great! Because a lot of us didn't have that growing up," said Lambert.

Emma Guillory, Executive Director of Bulber Youth Orchestra, said the benefit is important to help continue teaching the students music.

"What it does is help us to provide instruments to students who otherwise would not have instruments. They can learn to play the violin and cello and other instruments... this helps us provide those at no costs to the families so children seven years on up can come into our program as beginners and learn," said Guillory.

Last year NIK Fest raised a little over $2,000. Organizers hope to exceed that this year.

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