Pianist Drew Murray Allen is playing his first formal concert in the Highlands Aug. 20 as part of the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust’s ‘Birds of a Feather’ concert.

Allen, who has played internationally and teaches pianists, said it’s been a “dream come true” to play for an audience in a place he loves so much.

“I’ve always wanted to start doing live concerts in Haliburton County,” he said.

Allen donated a concert to the Rotary club’s 2021 auction. Mary-Lou Gerstl won the bid and donated the concert to the Land Trust.

Allen said that suited him nicely.

“It’s a cause that is near and dear to my heart,” he said.

Allen will be playing a range of tunes from classical to classic sing-alongs such as Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah or Billy Joel, and concert hosts will be providing opportunities for audience members to join Allen in song.

HHLT board member Sheila Ziman said the Land Trust will be displaying items from their online auction at the event, including handcrafted birdhouses, as well as a 50/50 draw. The auction runs from Aug. 14-22.

“This ensures we have the money to manage the properties we own,” Ziman said.

‘Birds of a Feather’ will be located at Abbey Gardens Aug. 20, starting at 6:30 p.m. Allen will play two sets with an intermission. Beverages and food will be available.

To register visit haliburtonlandtrust.ca or call 705-457-3700