Destiny Music Group, a Brooklyn-based contemporary gospel act, will be one of five musical groups to donate their time to perform tonight at The Eagle's "Back to School the Healthy Way" event at the Berkshire Mall in Lanesborough.
The family-oriented event is 4 to 7 p.m. at the former Old Navy retail space. It will feature live music, youth dance and gymnastics performers, health screenings and more.
Destiny Music Group is a young production team and rising independent record label that represents a collective of music performing artists and genres. The group was founded by Gary Coach, an organist at Destiny Christian Center.
Coach said his faith and his friends were his inspiration to start a music group. "My initial thoughts were to provide an outlook in which my peers could express themselves through the art. I chose the name Destiny Music Group because it lined up with the vision of my father's, and plus it has a nice ring to it," he said.
In addition to working in the studio and promoting youth ministries, the group started the year with a benefit concert for Hurricane Sandy victims. They're also working to stay active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and with their blog, destinymusicgroup.net.
After performing in the Berkshires, the group will be preparing for the Sept. 13 release of its new single, "I Belong to You." It will be performed and celebrated at the John Ryan Theater in Brooklyn, in a special event featuring Anita Joseph, Destiny Music Group and Kadeem Nichols.
This event is free and open to the public, but donations will be accepted to help provide backpacks to be distributed to local students through the Berkshire United Way and KidZone of the Berkshires.
Performers also include the Berkshires' own folk and children's artist David Grover and Pittsfield-based hip-hop and R&B group Nostalgia. Contemporary gospel artists Ayana George of the Bronx, N.Y., and Zion of Savannah, Ga., will perform as well.
Members of the local Youth Alive step dance and drum group and the Pittsfield Family YMCA's gymnastics team will perform. The YMCA also will offer breakdancing and gymnastics workshops during the event.
In addition to entertainment, the event will also have a focus on student health.
Yarmosky Pediatric Dentistry, an event sponsor, will offer health information.
Berkshire Health Systems' Community Outreach team, also a partner for the event, will provide students and families with free blood pressure screenings and an educational display on community health resources, such as smoking cessation, cholesterol classes and diabetes education.
Berkshire North WIC will have information on the Women, Infants and Children program for Berkshire County, applications for interested parties and back-to-school focused information.
The Berkshire Visiting Nurse Association will provide educational information on childhood and adult/caregiver immunizations and also information on flu vaccinations.
Information on the Newspapers In Education initiative and other members of The Eagle staff also will be on hand.