Ward Davis Beagles


Responding to a call for help from an early mentor, Nashville performer and recording artist Ward Davis has organized “Music for Mayflower”, a music event to benefit Mayflower choir students who lost their homes and possessions in the April 27 tornado that devastated Mayflower and Vilonia.

The connection? Drew Central.

Davis, the son of Levi and Linda Davis, of Monticello, is a graduate of Drew Central High School where he was a choir student of former Drew Central choir director Bennie Carol Wade Dunavan. Dunavan is now the choir director at Mayflower.

After the tornado, Dunavan set out to assess and try to fill some of the needs of her Mayflower “choir babies”. Realizing she could not do this alone, she called on some of her former Drew Central “choir babies” for help. They responded to her call for help in a big way.

Kim Ewell Ray, a former Drew Central choir student who now teaches nursing at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, created “Old Babies helping New Babies”, a mechanism in which Dunavan’s “old choir babies” from Drew Central can help fill the needs of her “new choir babies” at Mayflower.

Dunavan’s former Drew Central students have showered the Mayflower choir students with money and gift cards to help them in their relocation and other needs. And Ward Davis, who credits Dunavan with inspiring and mentoring him as a young choir student at Drew Central, has organized “Music for Mayflower”, a live show and auction to benefit the Mayflower choir students.

The show will feature Davis and his band, The Beagles; Tracy Lawrence from Foreman, Ark. and Wayland Holyfield, who wrote and recorded Arkansas You Run Deep in Me; as well as other entertainers.

In addition to the live show, Davis said there will be an auction of items autographed by a number of country music artists, including Kenny Chesney and Willie Nelson. “I’ve got a Willie connection and I used it,” Davis quipped. Nelson’s producer, Buddy Cannon and Davis are friends.

mayflower benefit


The live show will be held June 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Douglas Corner Café, located at 2016A 8th Avenue South, in Nashville. Tenn. The cost of admission is $10 at the door, but those who cannot attend the live show can still see it. For $10 you can watch it streamed live at stageit.com. The link will take you directly to the ticket page. All proceeds will go directly to Mayflower choir students.

Mayflower Choir

Mayflower Choir Students