McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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November 5, 2013

Matthew West 'Into the Light: 'It's going to be a great night'

McALESTER —

Grammy-nominated contemporary Christian music recording artist Matthew West says there’s a special, personal bond between him and people in the McAlester area.
“We’re excited to be back in  McAlester,” West said in a conversation with the News-Capital. “The people are so kind to us.”
West is bringing his Into the Light tour to McAlester for a concert set to begin at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Southeast Expo Center. 
He’s bringing two other major acts to McAlester with him — Sidewalk Prophets and Jason Castro.
“We’ve got great artists with us and a great crew,” West said.
The concert is benefiting the Ryan McAfee Memorial Scholarship fund. By coincidence, Thursday would have been McAfee’s birthday.
“I have a really special family connection with the McAfee family,” West said.
“The connection is that boy’s life is still inspiring others, because of the way he lived his life,” West said, referring to the former McAlester resident and Canadian student who inspired West’s song “The Reason for the World.”
“He died too soon,” West said of McAfee, who died in an automobile accident in 2009. He hopes his   Thursday McAlester concert “will be more proof of that young man’s legacy.”
This will mark the fourth time West has performed in McAlester to benefit the scholarship fund, having previously performed in McAlester in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
“We’re really planning for a great night,” said Linda McAfee, Ryan McAfee’s mother. “I think this will be the best one yet.
Linda McAfee, who is known in the Christian music community because of her family’s association with West, said she’s heard from individuals as far away as Atlanta, Chicago, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Joplin and Dallas,  who have told her they’re traveling to McAlester for the concert.

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