PITTSFIELD -- Michelle Plouffe wasn't keen on performing in public, until she met the late Mike Joyce.
While the city resident summoned the courage to join the popular Oldies but Goodies Rock ‘n Roll Show in 2006, she remained a background singer. Plouffe says that changed when she teamed up with Joyce, after hearing his upbeat, booming voice.
"He taught me the confidence I needed," she said. "I went from not singing [in public] to doing a solo in front of 800 people at the Colonial Theatre."
On Saturday night, Plouffe will help honor her duet partner and "best friend ever" as the oldies group stages a benefit concert in memory of Joyce, 72, who died suddenly Dec. 26. The show is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Reid Middle School on upper North Street.
Proceeds will benefit the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade Committee, as the volunteer organization prepares for its 2014 parade.
"We're trying to broaden our fundraising capability and not rely on just our major fundraising campaign in the spring," said committee president Peter Marchetti.
An oldies singer for eight years, Joyce was also well-known as the director and 50 year-member of the Berkshire Hillsmen barbershop chorus. The city native's other passion was the parade, spearheading the oldies group float that debuted in the Independence Day event several years ago, according to Marchetti.
"He brought a new dimension to the parade as I can't remember having a live singing group perform in the parade," he said.
Joyce's musical talent also enhanced the Oldies but Goodies Rock ‘n Roll Show, according to its musical coordinator, Peggy Bordeau.
"He specialized in harmonizing," she said. "He had the perfect pitch and a keen ear to sing any part of a song."
The oldies group hasn't performed since Joyce died, but several cast members say his influence and spirit will be everlasting.
"We miss him every time we rehearse," said longtime friend Elaine Enright.
If you go ...
What: Oldies but Goodies Rock ‘n Roll Show
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Reid Middle School, 950 North St., Pittsfield
Tickets: Available at Wood Bros. Music in the Allendale Shopping Center or via PayPal online at www.pittsfieldparade.com.
Proceeds benefit the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade Committee toward its 2014 parade.