Alonzo Guyton Memorial Concert raises money for scholarship

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By Ryan Butler

Alonzo Guyton was known for many things. His state championship track performance. His musical talent. His stint in the Marines. For many, he was best known for his enormous smile. Family and friends knew a concert in his honor would have brought out the smile.
On April 21, Wayne Pridgeot Stadium at  Chiefland High School hosted the first annual Alonzo Guyton Memorial concert. The concert raised over $1,600 for a scholarship in his name.
All that would have made Alonzo very happy.
"He would have responded to the concert with that smile," said Lois Guyton, Alonzo's mother. "He loved music. It was his life passion. he loved people and making them smile and making sure everybody had a friend."
Guyton, a student at Howard University in Washington D.C., was killed in an attempted robbery in November 2011. Shortly after, friends felt compelled to honor him. They worked with the Levy County School Board and created a scholarship to honor a Levy County student studying music who exemplified Alonzo's character.
"Christ, music, family, friends. That was his life," Lois Guyton said.
The concert was born to fund it.
Over 100 people enjoyed the performances which ended moments before a rain storm. Acts included T.J. Brown, who performed  several pop cover songs and original pieces with Lacey McGriff and also emceed for the event.
A gospel trio of Shayna Durham, Philip Henderson and Cecil Bennet performed afterwords. Bennet, who played in a church band with Alonzo, said his friend would have been honored by the concert and the support.
"He would have been shocked and happy. He'd be amazed how much we love him," Bennet said.
Sabrina Phillips went on after them, giving a solo performance that included several gospel songs.
Mime group Triple-J, including 11-year-old Jeremiah Guyton, Alonzo's newphew, Justin Smith, age 10 and Javel Blane, 13, acted before the crowd.
Alonzo's former bandmates from the Chiefland High School drumline reunited to drum along with some of his favorite cadences.
Sarah Gore, 16, followed them with renditions of several popular country and christian songs. Zach Tyson then went on stage, giving one of the afternoon's most emotional performances. He said the second song of the two he performed,"Be Strong" was inspired by God and dedicated to Alonzo.
"Though he's gone, he wouldn't want us to not continue the mission to be faithful to God and be a disciple for him," Tyson said.
The evening ended with Brown, Gore, Tyson and drumline member David Germany performing several cover songs including "American Honey" by Lady Antebellum, "What About Now" by Lonestar and "3 A.M." by Matchbox 20, wrapping up the show minutes before the rain.
Along with the fun from the show and the money for the scholarship, the concert served most of all as a testament to Alonzo Guyton and what he meet to his community.
"I don't think he realized it but he made a huge impact on this school and this town," Tyson said.